Fielding a question on the White House lawn, Donald Trump showed that he is always ready to believe a dictator … even when it requires saying something utterly ridiculous. Asked about the disappearance, and suspected murder, of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump was ready to say who it wasn’t.
Trump: The king firmly denies any knowledge of it.
And, just like Vladimir Putin denying that Russia hacked the 2016 election, the word of a dictator that oversaw 48 beheadings in just the first four months of 2018 was enough for Donald Trump. And, just as with the Russian hacking, Trump has an alternative theory.
Trump: He didn’t really know. Maybe … I don’t want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?
Rogue killers. Or maybe it was China. Or a 400 pound man in his parents’ basement. Who knows?
Trump: We’re going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial.
Well, okay then. If the guy who sends a man out with a sword to lop of the head of half a dozen people a week tells you he did not send out someone to chop up Khashoggi on the floor of the Saudi consulate and send his dismembered body out in bags … honestly the ghastliness of this crime could not be worse. Except that Trump is making it worse. He won’t believe American scientists when they tell him about climate change. He won’t believe American generals when they advise him on military situations. But Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Mohammed bin Salman—he believes them.
This is a frequent Trump tactic where he “confronts” the authoritarian leader with an accusation, they deny it, and he then tells the press this and promptly moves on to other things— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) October 15, 2018
Most striking part of this tweet: Trump emphasizes that Jamal Khashoggi — a Washington Post contributor and Virginia resident — is not an American citizen. https://t.co/0qZzZc2KQZ— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 15, 2018
And he’s hardly a visitor. Khashoggi has a green card, i.e. the US gov’t has designated him a permanent resident with the right to apply for citizenship after a certain # of years.
Been hearing the ridiculous “rogue killers” theory was where the Saudis would go with this. Absolutely extaordinary they were able to enlist the President of the United States as their PR agent to float it. https://t.co/ChRFyleneR— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 15, 2018