The deliberate brutality of Khashoggi’s homicide can’t be exaggerated. After Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner was suspected of offering bin Salman with an inventory of Saudi dissidents—an inventory that may have included Khashoggi—the journalist was lured into the Saudi embassy in Turkey on the pretense of finishing some paperwork for his upcoming marriage. As soon as inside he was captured by an assassination squad despatched by bin Salman. That squad, who had flown in on a particular aircraft and got here geared up with bone saws, beat and tortured Khashoggi, together with clipping off his fingers as he screamed and the Saudi ambassador complained how how a lot blood was getting on the ground.
Turkish authorities were aware of the homicide inside minutes. A special UN investigation concluded that the blame for the homicide, and every thing that led as much as it, fell squarely on bin Salman. However Trump refused to hand over a report demanded by the Senate on a bipartisan vote. As an alternative of a report, Trump waited till Feb. 8 after which despatched Congress a press release that he “reserved the precise to say no” doing an investigation.
When Trump outright thumbed his nostril on the authority of the Senate, Republican senators did precisely what they’ve in each different such occasion: nothing. Precisely nothing. Maine’s Susan Collins didn’t even pucker for a finger wag of “concern.” Republican Rob Portman did say that Trump owed the Senate a report and that “We are able to make a fuss about it.” There was no fuss. No muss. No report.
That refusal to offer a report got here three weeks after Trump instructed Woodward, “I’ve gotten concerned very a lot. I do know every thing about the entire scenario.”
Trump then reminded Woodward that bin Salman denied any involvement within the murders.
Woodward: “Do you imagine that he did it?”
Trump: “No, he says that he did not do it.”
Woodward: “I do know, however do you actually imagine—”
That was when Trump minimize off the dialog.
The relationship between Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman predates Trump’s time in workplace. Trump bypassed the same old allies to make his first outside-the-country journey to Saudi Arabia. He supported bin Salman in a blockade of U.S. ally Qatar—a blockade that put strain on that tiny nation to the tune of $20 billion a month, and resulted in an amazing last-minute $1.8 billion save of Kushner’s failing business. Along with refusing to offer the report required by regulation below the Magnitsky Act, Trump used his veto to dam congressional efforts at sanction following Khashoggi’s homicide. He additionally vetoed a invoice to finish help for bin Salman’s conflict in Yemen, the place tens of hundreds have died to U.S. bombs bought by Trump on that first official go to. Trump even used emergency authority to hurry one other $8 billion value of arms to bin Salman and his supporters, once more over bipartisan opposition from Congress. And once more, over ringing Republican silence.
It was at all times clear that Trump knew bin Salman murdered Khashoggi, as a result of it was at all times instantly apparent to even probably the most informal observer. However what Woodward’s e-book makes clear is simply how proud Trump was to help this authoritarian assassin over calls for of Congress and makes an attempt to get on the reality.
“Saudi Arabia—and I get alongside nice with all of them. They purchase flats from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I alleged to dislike them? I like them very a lot.” —Donald Trump, at a marketing campaign rally in 2015