Trump Says Saudi Cover-Up of Khashoggi Killing One of ‘Worst in the History of Cover-Ups’
President Donald Trump spoke with reporters in the Oval Office on several topics Tuesday. Naturally, one of the most asked about subjects was the situation with Saudi Arabia and Turkey following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and subsequent attempts to cover it up, which Trump said was one of the “worst” ever.
First, the President was asked about the remarks by Turkish President Erdogan‘s remarks from today, in which he called the murder of Khashoggi “planned” and “brutal,’ and demanded extradition of those arrested by the Saudis.
“He was pretty rough on Saudi Arabia, I would say,” said President Trump. “I haven’t gotten a full recap, as you know I have people in Turkey, and I have people in Saudi Arabia and other places, and they are all coming back as we speak, they are heading back. I will know, I think, everything in a very short period of time. It’s a bad situation. But, certainly President Erdogan was not complimentary of what happened. That was a terrible thing that happened.”
The follow-up question addressed whether he believes Saudi leadership in what they’ve said about the killing.
“I want to see the facts first,” he replied. He said that Saudi Arabia “has been a really great ally” and one of America’s “biggest investors. He added that “it’s a rough part of the world” and “nasty part of the world” but that “if what happened, happened, and if the facts check out, it’s something that’s very bad.”
Trump repeated that though nothing excused what happened, that Saudi Arabia has been a great ally with regard to Israel and against Iran, and both financially and politically supportive of the United States.
“I did a great job when I sold” the Saudis on their commitment to buy “many billions of dollars worth of things” from the United States, estimating the number at $450 billion.
“I know that from a certain standpoint, you can also say, well, it doesn’t matter, because it is a terrible thing. But we would be really hurting ourselves,” he said of concluding they were lying before the reports come back to him. ‘We would be hurting our companies. We would be hurting our jobs. We will see what happens.”
He was asked about Saudi Arabia again a few minutes later.
“Why do you think something like this could have happened? Do you think that there was a failure of leadership on the world stage?”
“They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly, and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups,” he said. “It’s very simple. Bad deal, should have never been thought of. Somebody really messed up. And they had the worst cover-up, ever. And where it should have stopped is at the deal standpoint, when they thought about it whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble. Okay?’
Watch the clip above, courtesy of Fox News.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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