Trump and Kushner are still playing coy over whether they believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered the killing of Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2.
One story is that Khashoggi synced his Apple watch to the iPhone he left with his fiancée outside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, which saved a file to the cloud of what the watch recorded happening inside the building. However, the BBC dissected the gadgets’ capabilities and debunked the likelihood of this.
Turkish authorities claim to have audio and video of Khashoggi’s murder. They’re reluctant to share this information and reveal the true extent of their surveillance practices. Understandable. But they’ve released plenty of gruesome details.
Meanwhile, the Saudis have been using Trump as their stooge to float a series of denials and fanciful lies, including that 60-year-old Khashoggi got into a fistfight and was accidentally strangled when somebody put him in a chokehold.
Based on Turkey’s revelations, it appears Khashoggi was ambushed by 15 Saudi men equipped with a bone saw, flown in specifically for the occasion. Once Khashoggi entered the consulate, he was tortured, apparently had fingers cut off, then drugged and dismembered while still alive by a man who told the others it was good to listen to music whenever butchering a person.
If none of this happened, the Saudis should be able to produce Khashoggi’s completely intact corpse.
But they haven’t. They can’t even say where it is.
Instead, there’s video of a body double wearing a fake beard and Khashoggi’s clothes (but not his shoes) leaving by the consulate’s back door with another man. Cameras also caught the double entering a public restroom and emerging in his original clothes, sans beard, then dumping a shopping bag (containing Khaghoggi’s clothes, presumably) in a dumpster.
A small handful of Republican senators (Paul, Sasse, Corker and Graham) have professed outrage, but we know they’ll be dancing in a chorus line behind Trump when he soon kisses MBS on the lips and declares his everlasting devotion to Saudi Arabia.
The truth is that Trump is personally terrified that sanctioning the Saudis will cut off the sweet, sweet flow of cash into his own pocket; instead, he feigns concern over losing a $110 billion arms sale that was tentative at best.
The world sees an impotent United States making excuses for unimaginable barbarity on a man Trump keeps reminding us only lived here on a green card, as if his life mattered less than any blond-haired, blue-eyed native redneck.
The Saudis may have done the killing, but this blood is all over Trump. Without his daily rants about the press being “the enemy of the people” and rally ravings about how he loves to see journalists body-slammed, encouraging his moronic supporters to hate the legitimate news media, he sends a deadly signal.
Bottom line: The House of Trump loves terrorizing journalists. The Saudis gave him the gift of showing what can happen to anyone who dares to question or criticize the powers that be. In Trump’s eyes, that’s a plus, not a problem.