In October of last year, Jared Kushner made a surprise visit to Riyadh and stayed up until around 4 a.m. on several nights swapping stories with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who had recently ousted his cousin to become next in the line of succession. Kushner had apparently discussed with MBS the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince. Weeks later, MBS arrested 200 members of the Saudi royal family and other Saudi officials and imprisoned them in the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh. Donald Trump endorsed this move. MBS later bragged that Kushner was “in his pocket.”
Donald Trump, meanwhile, is a big fan of the Saudis. During the campaign in 2015, he once said at a rally, “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.” Meanwhile, earlier this year, while Trump Tower New York was struggling, it received a 13 percent boost in revenue for three months thanks to a visit to New York from MBS. Two months ago, Trump gave the Saudis his blessing to expel the Canadian ambassador.
I mention all of this to highlight what big fans Donald Trump and Jared Kushner are of the Saudis, and in particular, the crown prince MBS.
That’s a crucial detail in the wake of the murder and apparently dismemberment of U.S. resident and The Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was lured by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. A 15-person Saudi security team lay in wait for him and killed him. There is video footage of him entering the Consulate, but there is no footage of him leaving.
Everyone knows that the crown prince had him killed for being critical of the Saudi government and the crown prince, in particular. This is a journalist and a U.S. resident who was murdered by a government official for speaking ill of that government official.
The President of the United States must be losing his mind, right?
Full quote, via pooler @rebeccaballhaus: 'On Jamal Khashoggi: "I am concerned about it. I don’t like hearing about it. Hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it, but there’s some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it."'— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 8, 2018
Here’s what he told Fox News this morning: “I have to find out what happened. We’re probably getting closer than you might think, but I have to find out what happened. We don’t like it. I don’t like it. No good.”
That’s it? The man directs more ire at sexual assault survivors than he does toward a murderer of a journalist. He also said in that interview that his relationship with the Saudis remains “excellent,” and seemed reluctant to halt arm sales to the Saudis over the death of Jamal Khashoggi.
Again, for those in the cheap seats, this is not normal.
I don’t know how much play this will get in the United States weeks before the midterm, when the media seems to be obsessed with “the mob” versus those poor white men, but it is terrifying to know our President and his son-in-law are basically looking the other way while a journalist is killed. Today, it is a U.S. journalist (but not a U.S. resident) killed in Turkey by the Saudis. Tomorrow, it might be a U.S. citizen critical of the Trump administration who is murdered in NYC under “mysterious circumstances” that elicits a, “Oh, that’s too bad,” from Trump before he turns his attention back to the DEMONRats and the leftist mob.
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