Trump’s Statement On Khashoggi Death A ‘Holiday-Season Gift To Autocrats,’ Per ‘Washington Post’

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a signing of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act in the Oval Office of the White House on November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The President also took questions from reporters.
Ron Sachs / Getty Images

On Thanksgiving Day, President Donald Trump continued to receive criticism for the White House’s statement earlier this week on the death of Jamal Khashoggi, where he chose not to lay blame on Saudi Arabia for the journalist’s alleged murder in October. This time, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson referred to the president as a “preening, clueless clown” whose decision to maintain ties with Saudi Arabia had some of the world’s perceived dictators and tyrants laughing at how easy it is to manipulate him into condoning atrocities.

“Trump’s reaction — or non-reaction — to the Saudi regime’s brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a holiday-season gift to autocrats around the globe,” Robinson wrote on Thursday.

“It shows them that if you just shower Trump with over-the-top flattery, feed him some geopolitical mumbo jumbo and make vague promises to perhaps buy some American-made goods in the future, he will literally let you get away with murder.”

Robinson’s op-ed was published two days after the White House issued an official statement justifying Donald Trump’s decision to maintain relations with Saudi Arabia despite the alleged involvement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s killing. According to Robinson, the statement didn’t just confirm that the Saudi government will not face any consequences for Khashoggi’s death, but also “attacked and defamed” the late Washington Post journalist, who was often critical of bin Salman’s regime.

Regarding Trump’s assertion on the White House statement that his decision to maintain ties with Saudi Arabia was not based on the government’s allegations that Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and Muslim Brotherhood member, Robinson said that the president was using paraleipsis, a rhetorical device where one “[says] something by professing not to say it.” In this context, he opined that Trump was using the device to make it appear as if the people involved in Khashoggi’s killing had a good reason to do so.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Trump “doubled down” on his acceptance of Saudi Arabia’s stand on Jamal Khashoggi’s death, telling reporters on Thursday that the world should probably “be held accountable” for the journalist’s alleged murder. The president also denied previous reports suggesting that the CIA concluded that Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family had ordered the killing.

Aside from suggesting that the liberal use of exclamation points in the White House statement was a sign that Donald Trump was heavily involved in its creation, Robinson pointed out that the president made several “false claims” about the billions of dollars Saudi Arabia is planning to spend as part of agreements with the U.S. government. Robinson disputed Trump’s claim that the Saudis will be investing $450 billion in the U.S. in a deal that would “create hundreds of thousands of jobs'” and substantially increase the country’s wealth, and added that the kingdom will only be spending $14.5 billion, and not $110 billion as claimed, on military equipment.

“No, the Saudis could not simply decide to buy Chinese or Russian arms, instead,” Robinson added.

Moving on from Donald Trump and his stand on the United States’ ties with Saudi Arabia following Jamal Khashoggi’s death, Robinson cited examples of how world leaders, including Saudi royals, treated the president with deference and respect during recent visits. He mentioned how North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is now resuming his nuclear weaponry initiatives “unmolested,” and how Russian President Vladimir Putin “escaped any meaningful punishment” for his country’s alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections after they acted graciously toward Trump during their respective meetings.

“Lavish Trump with praise. Treat him like a king. Wave a fistful of money in front of his face. And if you want to, say, kill an inconvenient journalist, he’ll look the other way,” Robinson concluded.