President Donald Trump said Tuesday that it was still possible that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia did nor order journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, and he has decided not to take action against him or the kingdom at this time.
The CIA has determined that Mohammed bin Salman not only knew about the killing but he ordered it, senior U.S. officials told several news outlets this week.
But Trump, in a lengthy statement just before he pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys, said he wasn’t convinced.
‘Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi,’ the president said.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that it was still possible that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia did nor order journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, and he has decided not to take action against him or the kingdom at this time
‘The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone,’ Trump claimed as he said that MBS would skate
The stunning statement came hours before the president was due to depart the White House for a family holiday at Mar-a-Lago.
And it was just days after the president admitted he had not listened to an audio tape provided by the Turkish government of Khashoggi’s murder, because it was too gruesome.
Trump said Tuesday that he was still open to sanctions that could be imposed by Congress in the lame duck session but would only support them if they were in the United States’ national security interests.
He insisted, ‘The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone.’
Yet, the president said he would take no further action because the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia is too valuable.
‘That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,’ he asserted.
‘They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.’
MBS pal Jared Kushner is pictured with his family at the president’s turkey pardoning minutes after the statement went out on Tuesday
Trump contended the United States has already taken ‘strong action’ against the alleged perpetrators of the crime.
‘After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body,’ he said.
At the White House on Monday, the president’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway had insisted that sanctions were not permanently off the table after launching a passionate defense of the president’s actions so far.
She said that Trump would make a decision after reading an intelligence community report.