Donald Trump sat down with Reuters today for an interview in which he touched on his support for the Saudi crown prince in relation to the murder in Turkey of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He also added that if necessary, he could intervene in the prosecution of the high-ranking Chinese tech executive from Huawei currently under scrutiny.
CBS News says that Trump believes that backing the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in this matter in order to preserve the United States alliance with the middle eastern country despite bipartisan support for condemnation of his alleged role in the murder of Khashoggi. After a briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, the majority of senators agreed that the crown prince ordered the murder of the Saudi born dissident.
“He’s the leader of Saudi Arabia. They’ve been a very good ally.”
Trump also says he is willing to intervene in the prosecution of tech giant Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou if necessary after she was arrested in Canada on the behest of the U.S. on charges that the company violated sanctions against Iran.
Trump says if it’s in the best interest of his burgeoning trade deal with China to step in, he will.
“If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made — which is a very important thing — what’s good for national security — I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”
On Face The Nation this weekend, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that Meng’s arrest has no bearing on the trade deal with China.
Donald Trump wouldn’t tell Reuters if he thought that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “complicit” in the gruesome murder of Khashoggi, which was said to have included the disposal of his body with a bone saw and says he hasn’t heard of any intervention or concern on behalf of the royal family to prevent MbS from becoming King of Saudi Arabia.
“I just haven’t heard that. 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.”
Donald Trump and son in law Jared Kushner have reportedly developed a “deep relationship” with the Saudi Crown Prince, and Trump repeated once again that MbS “vehemently denies” any role in the killing of the journalist who made his home in the United States.
Despite the link made by the CIA, Trump says any link between the crown prince and the murder are “very premature.”