Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and permanent resident of the United States, has likely been murdered by the Saudis, and the Trump administration seems reluctant to act. Why?

On October 2, Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, as you can see in the above photo, was observed entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he’d made plans to pick up documents that he needed concerning his recent divorce. It’s now nearly two weeks later, and he has yet to be observed leaving the building.

According to Turkish officials, Khashoggi, who had once been an unofficial spokesperson for the Saudi royal family, was killed and dismembered inside the consulate by Saudi agents working under orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who had been waging an intimidation campaign against the exiled journalist, who, in recent years, had become a harsh critic of the royal family. [Khashoggi had been living in Virginia.] The following background comes by way of the New York Times.

…After a successful career as an adviser to and unofficial spokesman for the royal family of Saudi Arabia, he had been barred from writing in the kingdom, even on Twitter, by the new crown prince. His column in a Saudi-owned Arab newspaper was canceled. His marriage was collapsing. His relatives had been forbidden to travel to pressure him to stop criticizing the kingdom’s rulers.

Then, after he arrived in the United States, a wave of arrests put a number of his Saudi friends behind bars, and he made his difficult decision: It was too dangerous to return home anytime soon — and maybe forever.

So in the United States, he reinvented himself as a critic, contributing columns to The Washington Post and believing he had found safety in the West…

Saudi officials have denied harming Mr. Khashoggi, but nearly two weeks after his disappearance, they have failed to provide evidence that he left the consulate and have offered no credible account of what happened to him…

While it’s not terribly surprising to hear that Mohammed bin Salman had a journalist killed, as that’s what despots like bin Salman and Putin do, it is surprising that our President, when faced by the apparent murder of a U.S. permanent resident by a foreign government, doesn’t seem all that interested in getting to the bottom of it. While he did say on 60 Minutes that the Saudis could have done it, and that, if they did, there would be “severe punishment,” he also said that Saudi leaders “deny it every way you can imagine.” Furthermore, he’s made it a point to say that, if this did indeed happen, it happened in Turkey, adding that Khashoggi isn’t even a U.S. citizen. And, regardless of what may have happened, Trump has made it clear that he still intends to keep selling arms to the Saudis.

As for why Trump might be acting in this way, it could have something to do with his long, lucrative history with the Saudis, who, it seems, have always come along at opportune times to bail him out in times of need. [Once Trump’s father passed away, he needed other people to cover for his mistakes.]

And Trump has always been appreciative of role the Saudis played in keeping him from bankruptcy. “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million,” Trump told a crowd at 2015 campaign rally in Alabama. “Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

The following background comes by way of the Washington Post.

…Trump’s business relationships with the Saudi government — and rich Saudi business executives — go back to at least the 1990s. In Trump’s hard times, a Saudi prince bought a superyacht and hotel from him. The Saudi government paid him $4.5 million for an apartment near the United Nations.

Business from Saudi-connected customers continued to be important after Trump won the presidency. Saudi lobbyists spent $270,000 last year to reserve rooms at Trump’s hotel in Washington. Just this year, Trump’s hotels in New York and Chicago reported significant upticks in bookings from Saudi visitors.

Now, Trump’s administration is trying to get answers from Saudi leaders about the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — a critic of the Saudi regime who was allegedly abducted, and possibly killed, inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week. The crisis has brought scrutiny to Trump’s business ties with the Saudis — and the complexity they add to an already complicated U.S. relationship with the kingdom.

…Saudi royalty has been buying from Trump dating to 1995, with some of the deals coming during periods when Trump was in need of cash.

In 1991, when Trump was nearly $900 million in debt from failed casino projects, he sold his 281-foot yacht to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal for $20 million. (The boat had been originally owned by late Saudi billionaire and arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, a cousin of Jamal Khashoggi.)

A few years later, the prince bought a stake in Trump’s Plaza Hotel by agreeing to pay off some of Trump’s debts on the property.

…Trump’s company is now facing two lawsuits alleging that — by doing business with other governments — Trump is violating the Constitution’s ban on “emoluments” from foreign states.

One lawsuit, filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia, is seeking Trump Organization records about foreign customers at the Trump hotel in Washington.

The other, filed by about 200 Democratic members of Congress, is aimed more broadly — seeking information about foreign customers in all parts of Trump’s business empire. This week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the lead plaintiff in that case, wrote that he hoped to uncover more details about Trump’s business with the Saudi government.

“Is the Saudi gov’t purposely filling Trump’s pockets? If so, what do they expect in return?” Blumenthal wrote on Twitter. “I’m fighting in court to hold him accountable”…

Not that we needed yet one more example of how the Trump administration’s rampant corruption manifests itself in U.S. foreign relations, but there it is.

And, with that, I give you the following from Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff.

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37 Comments

  1. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I wonder if it has to do with Uncle Adnan and 9-11.

  2. News from DC
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Once again, your post has worked, Mr. Maynard.

    WAPO: “Trump says he spoke with Saudi Arabia’s king and is sending Pompeo to meet him ‘immediately’ amid backlash over missing journalist”

  3. John Brown
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    He’s talking outta both sides of his ass on Saudi just like everything else. He’s nothing but a POS globalist gangster pawn, who just got utterly burned by the Des Moines Register.
    https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/10/13/register-endorsements-congress-gop-failed-govern-democrats-finkenauer-axne-loebsack-scholten/1594065002/

  4. Clint Watts by proxy
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Trump sticks with Kremlin playbook regarding #Khashoggi murder. “Rogue killers” – offers alternative explanations with no evidence. Same game, whether it’s Russia election interference, Khashoggi – “could have been someone else?”

    -Clinton Watts is a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University and a Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow

  5. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    CIA propagandandist

    Hunting for Foxes
    *Capturing the Potential of Outlier Ideas in the Intelligence Community [PDF 202.9KB**]
    Clint Watts and John E. Brennan

  6. Donald Trump weighs in
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened “to our Saudi Arabian citizen.” He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!

  7. Jesse Kranyak
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    When this story started developing, you’d have thought this would be how WW3… but nah, of course there’s an arms deal on the table and no dismembered body is going to clog the war machine.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    If you like Adam Schiff quotes, here’s another one.

    “King Salman denies it. Vladimir Putin denies it. Roy Moore denies it. Brett Kavanaugh denies it. In the President’s world, the truth doesn’t matter. Admission is weakness. Denial is everything. The more vehement the better. But don’t ask Trump. He denies it.”

  9. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Why get involved in WWIII over a Saudi Arabian man’s disappearance?

  10. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Liddle Adam! Nice. I hope he isn’t involved in anything illegal. Q said he will live in fear from the day he visited the White House. I wonder what was said or shown to him.

  11. EOS
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Once again the 8% of Americans, who label themselves Progressives, fail to comprehend the concept of innocent until proven guilty. Why are you so quick to believe the rumors of a Turkish man?

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Is it not ironic in the extreme to pine for WWIII and at the same time decry Trump for not letting this get in the way of the war machine? It’s so ironic it’s sardonic.

  13. wobblie
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Because your good friend Sultan Endagron says he has audio and video of them killing and dismembering the man.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/12/middleeast/khashoggi-saudi-turkey-recordings-intl/index.html

  14. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Huh!

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/15/khashoggi-apple-watch-recording-in-saudi-embassy-nearly-impossible.html

  15. wobblie
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    the apple story is misinformation. The Turks don’t want to admit that they have surveillance equipment all over the Saudi consulate. For a “deepstate” aficionado you demonstrate a great deal of naivete.

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    You are the one who thinks you know the reality of the situation so how can you say I am naive? Don’t make flat pronouncements like “it’s misinformation” without evidence. That’s a waste of time, isn’t it?

  17. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    For example are you trying to say there actually is a fingerprint sensor on these? Why would this Turkish state news outlet make up false details if they have true knowledge of what happened?

    “Sabah’s report says the Saudis attempted to delete the audio recording using Khashoggi’s fingerprint to unlock his Apple Watch. But there is no fingerprint sensor on any model of the Apple Watch. It can only be unlocked with a passcode.”

  18. wobblie
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    You are making thing up like always. What I said was very straight forward. Your inability to comprehend a simple sentence is amazing. I said the apple story was total misinformation. The Turks have bugs, cameras and any other surveillance equipment you can name in and around the Saudi consulate. Man, havn’t you ever watched From Russia with Love?
    If you want to have a clue about the politics of the middle east try this
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  19. Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump: “It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?”

  20. Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    How can you be so dumb? I put up a single point they made and you couldn’t reply. Why would they lie? Oh, to hide their spy shit. If they don’t want to reveal that then why didn’t they come up with a better story? It falls apart right away.

    From your link: “Khashoggi was a rather shady guy. A ‘journalist’ who was also an operator for Saudi and U.S. intelligence services. He was an early recruit of the Muslim Brotherhood…”

    Who was Adnan Khashoggi? Possible significance?

  22. Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    CNN: “Saudis preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say.”

    So it was a total accident. Total coincidence that they sent a hit squad with bone saws, right?

  23. Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Derp – “rogue killers” would tend to imply they were in the Saudi government.

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    It’s just madness in the comments section lately. There is just a total absence of anything of merit.
    The M&M.com comment on some other thread made me laugh. As did FF’s amazing inability to comprehend humor . Even HW simply bores now. How will MM get back it’s mojo.

    I think that a bunch of commenters here over the last year may be right. Maybe local coverage is better. This Trumo stuff is just getting redundant. Lord knows the commentary is.

  26. from the standpoint of water
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    “An autopsy specialist carrying a bone saw among 15 Saudi operatives who flew to Istanbul on 10/2, the day Mr. Khashoggi died?”

  27. wobblie
    Posted October 16, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    The fix seems to be in

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  28. wobblie
    Posted October 16, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Charles P. Pierce

    @CharlesPPierce
    I’m not buying the “I was cleaning my bone saw and it went off” defense.

    2:01 PM – Oct 15, 2018

  29. wendyo
    Posted October 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    This whole story make me absolutely sick.

  30. Max
    Posted October 17, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Allegedly they started dismembering him while he was still alive.

  31. John Brown
    Posted October 17, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Reminder that there are still 1000 people missing in Florida from Michael. And it cant compete for headline space with Agent Oranges global crime spree. So being reminded that we once thought porn is Ypsi was our biggest problem is like a big plate of comfort food.

  32. anonymous
    Posted October 17, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Pompeo says the Saudis intend to investigate themselves. He then said the following.

    Reporter: Did they say that Khashoggi was alive or dead?

    Secretary Pompeo: I don’t want to talk about any of the facts. They didn’t want to either.

    https://twitter.com/RobertMaguire_/status/1052521442062032896

  33. anonymous
    Posted October 17, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Pompeo looked super happy.

    https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1052335423173799936

  34. iRobert
    Posted October 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    If Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi government agents, it has to be one of the worst hit jobs any government agents have ever done. How many clandestine extermination squads get recorded committing the murder, and fail to fabricate any cover? Very strange.

  35. Vanity Fair
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Saudi Arabia wires U.S. $100 million as Trump proclaims that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is innocent

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/10/saudi-arabia-wires-us-dollar100-million-as-trump-proclaims-mbs-innocent

  36. John Brown
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Agent Orange celebrates misdemeanor assault by Montana Senate candidate against reporter. He’s full on fascist people. Any of you “abortion is murder” types out there be clear that you are risking the very future of America and humanity for the sake of an emotional ploy being used to manipulate you. Everyone else, get an AR and 1000 rds while they’re cheap.

    Oh, and canvass, donate, phone bank, and network for Dems so we can avoid having to kill fascists.

  37. Anyone
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    15 assassins came with bone saws, and he started a fist fight.

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