It’s long become abundantly clear at this point that Jamal Khashoggi is dead. The Saudi journalist walked into his country’s consulate in Turkey and never came out, sparking an international outcry. The Saudis begged for time for an “investigation” into the crime they themselves allegedly committed, which concluded with an assertion that the journalist died accidentally as part of a physical struggle.
Throughout the developments, President Donald Trump has never rushed to condemn Saudi leadership as culpable in serious crimes thanks to the apparent brutal murder of a dissident journalist — and he’s still not. His latest concern is over the fact that the cover-up was pulled off so poorly as much as it seems to be over the fact itself that Khashoggi himself is dead.
This week at the White House, a journalist pressed him:
‘Mr. President — why do you think that something like this could have happened? Do you think there was failure of the leadership on the world stage? That Saudi Arabia wasn’t concerned about the [consequences]?’
He resorted to what’s at this point familiar language in replying, asserting:
‘They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly. The cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups — it’s very simple. Bad deal, should’ve never been thought of. Somebody really messed up. They had the worst cover-up ever. Where it should of stopped is at the deal standpoint when they thought about it, because whoever thought about it — I think is in big trouble, and they should be in big trouble.’
Trump on Khashoggi’s killing: “They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups. It’s very simple. Bad deal. Should have never been thought of. Somebody really messed up.” (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/w9L4yDwsHe
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 23, 2018
Is the failed cover-up really the most important issue here? Seriously? If the Saudis had dragged Khashoggi out and flogged him in the public square would President Trump have been happier? He’s drummed up plenty of antagonism against members of the media on his own time.
While Trump sat in the White House struggling to find it in himself to condemn the murder of a journalist as bad, the world continued to go on without him.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted Tuesday that Khashoggi’s murder had been premeditated, coupling that with a demand for the scapegoats the Saudis pinned as guilty of the crime be extradited to his country.
Meanwhile, the United States government itself set responses in motion, revoking the visas held by the men identified so far as directly responsible for Khashoggi’s death. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added that the U.S. government was examining options for financial sanctions, too — an option Trump himself has expressed some opposition to.
He’s expressed concern that sanctions could hurt the supposedly marvelous benefits set for the U.S. thanks to an arms deal he signed with the Saudis towards the beginning of his presidency. He’s shot his estimates for the number of jobs relying on that deal up and up, reaching half a million — although there’s no evidence for that.
He continues on in his dictator-infested wonderland while the United States and the people of the world face reality, including that which he himself has wrought.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot