During a segment on his show The Lead this Wednesday, CNN’s Jake Tapper took President Trump to task over his willingness to provide cover for the Saudi Government in the wake of the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
As evidence mounts that Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Instanbul, Trump’s tone on the matter has been remarkably forgiving, even at one point comparing the accusations against the Saudi government to the sexual assault accusations against his now-confirmed SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh, saying that both are being leveled with little evidence.
According to Tapper, Trump’s public comments on the alleged murder are “stunningly dismissive” when it comes to holding the Saudis accountable for the “apparent murder” of Khashoggi.
Tapper acknowledged that Trump has said he wants to find out what happened, “but that’s as tough as the President is willing to get.”
“He has had harsher words in the last week or so for Stormy Daniels, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Taylor Swift, than he’s had for the Saudis responsible for the likely butchering and slaughter of a Washington Post columnist,” Tapper said.
Trump has had harsh words for all three of the people Tapper mentioned: He mocked porn star and former alleged mistress Stormy Daniels on Twitter, calling her “horseface” after a judge threw out her defamation suit against him; he mocked Senator Elizabeth Warren over her professed Native American heritage; he derided country music star Taylor Swift after she made a post encouraging her fans to vote for Democrats.
“Instead, President Trump has expressed support for Saudi denials of knowledge of the apparent murder despite the strong circumstantial case that Saudi leaders had to have known, and their initial denials they knew anything about anything — and the President has emphasized the hundreds of billions of dollars in arms and military equipment that the Saudis have pledged to purchase from American defense contractors.”
Tapper mentioned that for “at least the fifth time” in his Saudi apologetics, Trump has noted the fact that Khashoggi was not an American citizen. What Trump fails to mention is that the missing journalist was a permanent resident in the United States.
This Thursday, Trump seemed to acknowledge that he believes Khashoggi is dead, even giving credence to intelligence sources that say the Saudis were involved at a high level.
From The New York Times:
Mr. Trump stopped short of saying the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s death. But the president acknowledged that the allegations that the prince ordered the killing raised deep questions about the American alliance with Saudi Arabia and had ignited one of the most serious foreign policy crises of his presidency.
Watch Jake Tapper in the video below, via CNN:
Featured image via screen grab