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Conservatives Blast Trump for Anemic Response to Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance

October 10, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

“[Trump’s] statements, so far, have been completely inadequate,” never-Trumper Max Boot said.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and columnist Max Boot are among the right-wing conservatives who have been highly critical of President Donald Trump for being slow to respond to the disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday, October 2.

Khashoggi hasn’t been seen since then, and Turkish officials are alleging that he was murdered inside the Consulate on orders from Saudi Arabia’s government. A U.S. intelligence source told the New York Times that U.S. intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi agents discussing a plot to either capture or kill Khashoggi.

Although the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia became tense during Barack Obama’s presidency, Trump has enjoyed a much friendlier relationship with the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS. Trump visited Saudi Arabia in May 2017, and Mohammad has applauded his decision to withdraw from the Obama Administration’s nuclear arms agreement with Iran. Unlike Trump, Obama had few kind words for the Saudi government, often attacking its history of human rights abuses and its role in funding jihadist terrorism.

Khashoggi was also critical of the Saudi government—and he went into exile in the U.S. in 2017, fearing that he would be arrested as part of Prince Mohammad’s crackdown on dissent. The journalist was planning to remarry, and he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document showing that he was legally divorced from his ex-wife. Knowing that Khashoggi would be at the Consulate on October 2, the New York Times has reported, Saudi agents planned to kill him and dismember his body inside the Consulate.

On October 2, Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatic Cengiz waited for him outside the Consulate for 11 hours, but he never came out—and Cengiz fears that Khashoggi was either kidnapped or killed. The Saudi government, including Prince Mohammad, has denied that allegation, insisting that Khashoggi freely left the Consulate shortly after his arrival. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that Saudi officials prove Khashoggi left …read more


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