‘Saudis have already paid the price’ for Khashoggi claims PompeoDecember 13, 2018
‘Saudis have ALREADY paid the price’ for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder claims secretary of state Mike Pompeo as he backs Trump’s bid to fight off sanctions on kingdom’s crown prince
- Secretary of state insisted on Wednesday that the Trump administration has held Saudi Arabia accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi
- Mike Pompeo argued that the 17 members of the Saudi hit squad that were accessory to the murder that have been sanctioned were enough
- ‘The Saudis have already paid the price. There are the folks who actually committed the murder, we’ve held accountable,’ he claimed
- Lawmakers want the Trump administration to take additional punitive actions
- They could sanction crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and cut off military aid for the Saudi-led war in Yemen
- Trump doesn’t want economic sanctions and denies the crown prince was responsible – but suggested this week he could support Yemen bill
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Wednesday that the Trump administration has held Saudi Arabia accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and an attempted cover-up.
The chief diplomat for the United States argued in an appearance on ‘Fox & Friends’ that the 17 members of the Saudi hit squad that were accessory to the murder have been sanctioned as he was pressured by the show’s co-hosts to take a hardline against the kingdom’s crown prince.
‘The Saudis have already paid the price. There are the folks who actually committed the murder, we’ve held accountable. We will continue to do that. No one under estimates how horrible this murder was,’ he asserted.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Wednesday that the Trump administration had held Saudi Arabia accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and attempted cover-up
Pompeo justified the administration’s response to the assassination, and the president’s disinterest in slapping the Saudis with additional punishing actions, by juxtaposing the singular murder with the thousands of deaths that could come to pass in the event of a terror attack.
This week Time Magazine named Khashoggi, and other journalists who were murdered or detained, their ‘person of the year’ over Trump
He said Iran’s malign behavior, including its terror funding, weighs heavily on the president.
‘Iran is running rampant throughout the Middle East. The death of any one individual is awful. The death of hundreds of thousands of people in Europe or the Middle East or the United States matters an awful lot. President Trump is committed to protecting America,’ he asserted.
Pompeo is scheduled to brief House leaders in Washington on the journalist’s death and the administration’s position in a classified setting on Capitol Hill.
He and Defense Secretary James Mattis told senators at a similar briefing last month that the intelligence community had not found a ‘smoking gun’ linking the death to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Senators left a second briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel claiming that it was actually a ‘smoking saw’ they had found, in reference to reports that Khashoggi was tortured and then dismembered with a bone saw.
Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the evidence was so strong that in a court of law, bin Salman would be found guilty in 30 seconds.
‘You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican who is close to Trump, said of the evidence.
The Trump administration continues to deny publicly that a CIA assessment has directly implicated the 33-year-old crown prince who has developed a tight-knit relationship with the president’s White House-advising son-in-law
And yet, the Trump administration continues to deny publicly that a CIA assessment has directly implicated the 33-year-old crown prince who has developed a tight-knit relationship with the president’s White House-advising son-in-law.
‘He’s the leader of Saudi Arabia. They’ve been a very good ally,’ the president told Reuters in an Oval Office interview on Tuesday.
He said he would continue to stand by the kingdom, and therefore its crown prince, the de facto leader as he claimed that that bin Salman is ‘very strongly in power’ and is not facing a revolt within the royal family that could see him ousted.
President Trump’s support for MBS, as he known, is seen as a determining factor.
‘I just haven’t heard that,’ said Tuesday in response. ‘Honestly, I can’t comment on it because I had not heard that at all. In fact, if anything, I’ve heard that he’s very strongly in power.’
Trump maintained that the ‘crown prince vehemently denies’ having any knowledge of the murder before it took place.
The Senate is considering a resolution to condemn bin Salman and the kingdom and a separate bill that would cut off aid for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Trump reiterated on Tuesday that he does not want Congress to hit the Middle Eastern nation with sanctions that would rob the United States of profits and effectively transfer the money to America’s global competitors.
Outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley made it known that she believes MBS bears responsibility for the killing carried out by his government, regardless of whether he gave the order himself
‘I really hope that people aren’t going to suggest that we should not take hundreds of billions of dollars that they’re going to siphon off to Russia and to China,’ Trump said.
He indicated that he could meet lawmakers half-way and support the measure to cancel military assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
‘Well, I’m much more open to Yemen because frankly, I hate to see what’s going on in Yemen,’ he said. ‘But it takes two to tango. I’d want to see Iran pull out of Yemen too. Because – and I think they will.’
The morning of the interview, Time Magazine named Khashoggi, and other journalists who were murdered or detained, their ‘person of the year’ over Trump.
He’ll appear on a version of the magazine’s cover this week and will be honored in a story that reflects on the international response to the death that was ordered by his native nation.
On Fox and Friends, a program that is friendly to Trump, co-host Steve Doocey noted that it’s a ‘big story’ and that is why Time tackled it after Pompeo defended the administration’s heavily scrutinized response to the journalist’s death.
Ainsley Earhardt likewise proclaimed: ‘Someone has to pay the price, though, it’s so brutal. Apparently those audiotapes are awful.’
Pompeo claimed that ‘some’ of the reporting on the CIA’s assessment that MBS was most definitely responsible had been ‘inaccurate’ and dodged repeatedly as his interviewers pressed him to assess MbS’ innocence.
‘You know. You — you looked him in the eye. You know that he knows,’ Brian Kilmeade said, confronting the secretary of state.
Inviting viewers to read between the lines, Pompeo replied: ‘I’ve spoken to the crown prince a number of times since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. And it is absolutely America’s intent to hold everyone accountable who was responsible for this.’
Outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke more freely in an interview that aired on NBC News on the same morning.
She made it known that she believes MBS bears responsibility for the killing carried out by his government, regardless of whether he gave the order himself.
‘It was the Saudi government, and MBS is the head of the Saudi government,’ she said. ‘So they are all responsible, and they don’t get a pass, not an individual, not the government — they don’t get a pass.’
Haley said the issue is not going to go away for the Trump administration.
‘I think that the administrations has to talk about where we go from here,’ she observed. ‘What I can tell you that’s so important is that the Saudis have been our partner in defeating and dealing with Iran. And that has been hugely important.’
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