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USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - WEATHER - AN IN­CON­VE­NIENT TRUTH FOR TRUMP Ken Derow

The pub­lic re­ac­tion of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to­ward the bru­tal mur­der of Ja­mal Khashoggi and the ex­tent of Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man’s in­volve­ment is still evolv­ing. But it very well re­veals the char­ac­ter of the pres­i­dent.

Trump — just as he has with Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and North Korean Kim Jong Un’s prom­ise to de­nu­cle­arize — un­abashedly ac­cepted the word of a bru­tal dic­ta­tor as the truth. Now, Trump’s own pre­mier in­tel­li­gence agency, the CIA, has con­cluded that the Saudi prince or­dered Khashoggi’s mur­der. Trump’s re­sponse? “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.” The truth does not seem to mat­ter to Trump, es­pe­cially when it is an in­con­ve­nient one.

Trump views Saudi Ara­bia as the linch­pin of his Mid­dle East­ern for­eign pol­icy and claims that the Saudis will buy bil­lions in arms from us and will cre­ate thou­sands of U.S. jobs (both claims are highly hy­per­bolic). To Trump, Khashoggi is sim­ply ac­cept­able col­lat­eral dam­age. As Trump has demon­strated so many times, he will not let a lit­tle mat­ter like right and wrong stand in the way of what he wants to do.

This is an in­con­ve­nient truth about the pres­i­dent that we all should ac­cept. Swarth­more, Pa.

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