Donald Trump Jr. has shared a tweet smearing missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a friend of Osama bin Laden at a time the future al Qaeda head was leading a resistance against the Soviet Union.
Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey this week, and Turkey has said it has audio and video evidence that the Washington Post columnist was tortured and killed by Saudi operatives.
“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” a person with knowledge of the recordings told the Washington Post (via CNN). “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
While Khashoggi’s presumed torture and murder at the behest of the Saudi government has led to international outrage and caused a number of tech firms to cut ties with Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump Jr. took a very different approach. On Friday, he re-tweeted a tweet from Sean Davis, the founder of the conservative magazine Federalist, smearing Khashoggi as an ally of Osama bin Laden.
Davis’ tweet quoted Pajamas Media correspondent Patrick Poole who linked to a 1988 article Khashoggi wrote about the Afghanistan mujahedeen, a group led by bin Laden to resist Soviet occupation.
“I didn’t realize until yesterday that Jamal Khashoggi was the author of this notorious 1988 Arab News article of him tooling around Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda co-founder Abdullah Azzam,” Poole wrote. “He’s just a democrat reformer journalist holding a RPG with jihadists.”
But as Raw Story noted, Khashoggi’s story was written at a time when the American government was backing the mujahedeen with money and arms, and President Ronald Reagan even praised them as “Afghan freedom fighters” against a mutual enemy in the Soviet Union.
NEW: Donald Trump Jr. on Friday promoted a smear tying Jamal Khashoggi to Osama bin Laden, retweeting a series of tweets meant to imply that the Saudi commentator, who has been missing since last week, supported Islamic terrorism https://t.co/sNrNsvMbTO
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 12, 2018
Donald Trump Jr. is not the only one in the family lacking the outrage others feel over Jamal Khashoggi’s presumed murder. Earlier in the day, his father said he would not let the murder of an American resident stop a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
“I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States because you know what they’re going to do, they’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China,” Donald Trump said in reference to the pending arms deal (via CNN). “If it turns out to be as bad as it might be, there are certainly other ways of handling the situation.”