Trump Bear Hugs Saudis, Calls World 'A Very Dangerous Place!'

Wednesday, 21 Nov, 2018

The CIA has determined that Mohammed bin Salman not only knew about the killing but he ordered it.

Germany banned 18 Saudis suspected of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from much of Europe on Monday and moved to halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The president has resisted calls so far for a stronger response to the October 2 killing of the USA -based writer by agents of the Saudi government inside their consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi officials gave conflicting accounts of what happened to Khashoggi before finally acknowledging that he was killed by members of a team who were trying to return him to the kingdom. "It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!" he pointed out.

He said on Tuesday that both Saudi Arabia's King Salman and the Crown Prince "vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder", and that the truth may never be known.

Trump said the killing was "an unacceptable and awful crime" but the full facts of the case may never be known.

"We have already asked the Turkish authorities at the highest level about the meaning of these comments, and they confirmed to us categorically that the crown prince is not meant by these comments", he said.

The United States, he said, "intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia".

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"In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", he added.

Pompeo also denied that Mr. Trump, in his statement about Khashoggi, suggested that the extrajudicial murder of a journalist was less important than US security interests. "Very simply it is called America First!".

"The actions point to a campaign inside the kingdom to shore up support within the ruling family and to demonstrate public confidence in the crown prince", said Kristin Diwan, of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America.

France's top diplomat said that his country was mulling sanctions against Saudi Arabia.

Although the Central Intelligence Agency is not said to have direct evidence linking Mohammed bin Salman to the murder, officials reportedly believe it could not have taken place without his approval.

A Saudi prosecutor has indicted 11 people for the murder and is requesting the death penalty against five of the men.

However, in response to a parliamentary query, the government said previous accords meant no Eurofighter partner nation could block a sale of jets or parts to other countries.