In another revelation from Trump’s conversations with Bob Woordward, the president claims to have “saved” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Rabat – US President Donald Trump told veteran journalist Bob Woodward that he helped Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) survive the global outrage that followed the 2018 scnadalous murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Kashoggi. Trump’s remarks were revealed as part of the promotion for Woodward’s upcoming book, titled “Rage,” based on his conversations with Trump.
“I saved his a–,” Trump said in reference to MBS, according to Business Insider which quoted from Woodward’s yet-to-be-released book.
The remarks by the US president referred to the global scandal over the brutal murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in 2018. Kashoggi, who was a scathing critic of the Saudi royal court, was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was murdered and dismembered by a team of Saudi assassins.
Saudi Arabia claims the team that was responsible for the murder acted withtout the blessings of the royal court. The kingdom accordingly sentenced five of the eight-member assassin squad to death. However, these death sentences were overturned on Monday, September 7; all eight men will now face prison sentences instead.The international community has mostly considered the trial a mere face-saving show.
The trial was a “parody of justice” according to UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard. For her part, Jamal Kashoggi’s fiancee called the verdict a “farce” and a ““complete mockery of justice.”
Trump now claims to have protected MBS by stopping a congressional inquiry after news broke of the brutal murder in 2018. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone,” Trump told Woodward, adding “I was able to get them to stop.” Business Insider quoted directly from the much-awaited Woodward book.
While Saudi Arabia continues to maintain that the Crown Prince did not have foreknowlege of Khashoggi’s murder or authorize it, US intelligence services have roundly concluded that MBS was personally responsible for the murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Trump, however, told Woodward that he didn’t believe MBS had ordered the killing.
Following the Kashoggi scandal Trump ensured that arms sales to the Saudis continued. He bypassed congress to approve a $8 billion arms deal despite the global outrage surrounding Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war in Yemen. Trump also vetoed three resolutions that attempted to block both the sale and one resolution that aimed to end US support for the Saudi military engagement in Yemen.