President Donald Trump signaled today that he will simply not accept the conclusions of his own CIA which found with confidence that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. If true, it would represent one of the lowest moral moments for this country. Update: Trump just reportedly dismissed the issue by saying “it is what it is.” What it is is murder and the question is what we are.
Trump has repeatedly said that the Crown Prince denied his involvement. However, this is hardly surprising for a murderer. Moreover, the Saudis have repeatedly lied throughout this scandal, including denying for days that Khashoggi died in the Saudi Consulate. They insisted that he was seen leaving when it turned out to be a double flown into the country. More importantly, not just the world at large but our own CIA rejected the denials of the Crown Prince, which are facially absurd on their face.
This was a carefully planned killing with a team sent from Saudi Arabia, including the double and a close security aide to the Crown Prince. Moreover, there is a recording referencing the Crown Prince by the murderers as well as an intercept of a team member calling an aide to Prince Mohammed and saying “tell your boss” that the mission was accomplished. Intercepts also show that Prince Mohammed was trying to find ways to lure Mr. Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.
Trump appears to be expressing doubt in the absence of a confession by the Crown Prince or an actual videotape of his ordering the murder. The evidence is overwhelming and this response will be denounced around the world as willful blindness to the heinous act by “great ally” against a member of the press.
The Crown Prince has a long and bloody record, including torturing and killing his opponents. In the meantime, the Crown Prince has engineered the arrest and promised execution of team members. It is a disgusting demonstration of a mass execution designed to protect the Crown Prince. We will now be part of that effort.
It seems that the Crown Prince will join “Carrots” and “Peas” in getting a pass from the President today. The difference is that one of them is likely a murderer.