Trump Shill's for Despotic Saudi Arabia
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Since news broke about Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance after entering the Saudi's Istanbul consulate on October 2, clearly indicating kingdom foul play, Trump and his regime hardliners have gone all-out to stick by de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) - no matter his indisputable involvement in what happened.
For weeks, DLT has been trying having things both ways - criticizing "the worst coverup in history," while calling Saudi Arabia a "truly spectacular ally."
He denounced accusations against MBS, saying: "Here we go again with you're guilty until proven innocent," adding the crown prince "totally denied any knowledge of what happened," Trump tweeting last month:
"Just spoke with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate. He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…"
"…during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly."
After schmoozing with MBS in Riyadh, Pompeo said he "had direct and candid conversations" with him and king Salman, adding:
"My assessment from these meetings is that there is serious commitment to determine all the facts and ensure accountability, including accountability for Saudi Arabia's senior leaders or senior officials."
Trump, Pompeo, and John Bolton want expendable lower-level Saudis to take the fall for the murder MBS clearly ordered.
No one in the kingdom would dare circumvent his authority - other than his father king Salman, the aging despot too ill to govern, why he virtually abdicated to his favorite son.
After the CIA concluded that MBS ordered Khashoggi's murder, the most damning development so far, showing Langley likely wants him replaced with someone more reliable, Trump called its assessment "very premature."
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert made similar comments, part of the DLT's regime plan to try shifting blame away from MBS - wanting nothing interfering with longstanding US/Saudi dirty business as usual.
While acknowledging the existence of damning audio evidence, indicating MBS' responsibility for Khashoggi's murder, Trump refused to listen to what he called the "suffering tape…a terrible tape," standing firm against wanting him held responsible.
"Will anybody really know," he asked? His regime has much invested in Saudi Arabia and MBS personally - including likely Trump and Jared Kushner family business.
Trump's son-in-law developed a close relationship with the crown prince. MBS bragged about it. Kushner reportedly has been trying to mitigate fallout from Khashoggi's murder, leveraging his dealings with the crown prince, likely for what he hopes will be personal gain, the way all corrupt/power hungry figures operate.
MBS reportedly told his Emirati counterpart and others that he has Kushner "in his pocket." Saudi Arabia was Trump's first foreign trip as president, gushing over the arms deals he got, wanting nothing interfering with a strong US/Saudi relationship.
So far, he's gone to the mat for MBS, publicly ignoring the CIA assessment he got over the weekend from director Gina Haspel, ignoring shifting fabricated kingdom narratives about Khashoggi's murder - covering for MBS.
Imposing sanctions on designated Saudis was a diversionary tactic, Trump stressing he "want(s) to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good."
Its economic, financial, and imperial relationship with Washington is longstanding.
Republicans and undemocratic Dems intend letting nothing disrupt it - whether MBS is held accountable for Khashoggi's murder or not.
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