Business as usual with Saudi Arabia is no option for US or UK
Salman, didn’t know anything about it, after they spoke on the phone for 20 minutes.
Trump added he had no reason to disbelieve them, before then suggesting “rogue killers” could be responsible.
With worldwide condemnation mounting, they then said Khashoggi died within the consulate after what they claimed was a fist-fight.
Trump called the royal family’s explanation credible, never appearing to question why a 59-year-old unfit guy would decide to take on a dozen of Saudi’s elite special ops soldiers who had gathered inside in a brawl.
The new account offered by the regime of King Salman and the Crown Prince was without a shred of credibility and comes amid claims parts of the writer’s body including his disfigured face have been found in the grounds of the Saudi consul general’s home.
Trump was criticised on Tuesday when he passed responsibility to Congress for deciding what action to be taken as opposed to an affirmative response from the White House.
The fact Trump would even dare say at the outset the Saudi fist-fight story was believable appears to emphasise his reluctance to punish the Saudis properly.
His refusal to scorn the initial accounts is yet another worrying example whereby whatever a dictator says, Trump believes.
Already we’ve seen him refuse to accept Russia meddled in the 2016 US election after Vladimir Putin denied it, and accept that Kim Jong Un would end North Korea’s nuclear programme.
The fact that Trump would even dare say the Saudi fist-fight story was believable appears to emphasise his shameful intent to assist in the attempt of the regime to avoid justice and political retribution.
As he surely knew, the Saudi story, which he now concedes to be the “worst cover-up ever”, was contradicted not just by evidence collected by Turkish authorities and by journalists, but also by his own intelligence community.
CIA officials have listened to an audio recording in the possession of Turks which, they say, backs up their account that Khashoggi was killed minutes after entering the consulate by a team of 15 men.
Five of the squad have been identified as probable members of the crown prince’s personal security detail.
The Saudis are a murderous regime, who, it is alleged, helped fund the hijackers who carried out the Twin Towers attack.
In fact, 15 of the 19 hijackers were from the country, and yet America still cosied up to the nation in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
The West has a history of collapsing before the oil-rich Saudis and now world leaders appear to be at it again.
Would Trump have been so quick to believe the story if Khashoggi had been killed by those who don’t have billion dollar deals with the US?
Until justice prevails and we determine the full truth about the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Arabia and its regime should be treated as outlaws by all who value human rights and free expression.
Businesses that withdrew this week from an investment conference in Riyadh, should continue to shun contact with the prime suspect, the crown prince, while governments should block all arms sales and deliveries.
In the meantime, business as usual isn’t an option for the US or UK governments which must stop rolling out the red carpet for one of the world’s very worst abusers of human rights.
> President Donald Trump