Donald Trump made a controversial statement in November of 2018 backing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, appearing to defy American and international intelligence agencies to declare his loyalty to Saudi Arabia.
As former National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote in a new tell-all book, Trump's real intention with the statement was not to back Saudi Arabia but to create controversy that would take attention away from his daughter's email scandal.
As The Washington Post noted in a report on Bolton's yet-to-be-released book, President Trump wanted to take attention away from a story about Ivanka Trump using personal email for government business -- something that Donald Trump had slammed Hillary Clinton for doing during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"This will divert from Ivanka," Donald Trump said, according to Bolton's book. "If I read the statement in person, that will take over the Ivanka thing."
As The Washington Post had reported at the time Trump made the statement backing bin Salman, there was already growing evidence that the Saudi royal had some involvement in the plot to abduct and brutally kill Khashoggi. The report noted that Trump's statement appeared "calculated" to end debate over the American response to Khashoggi's killing, as many were calling for sanctions or actions taken against the Saudi government.
Trump's statement passed on unfounded allegations that Khashoggi was an "enemy of the state" and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and said that whether he knew about the plot to kill Khashoggi was not relevant.
"Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" Trump wrote in a statement released by the White House.
There are other potentially damaging revelations included in Bolton's book. As The Inquisitr reported, the book also claims that Trump tried to press Chinese President Xi Jinping into helping his re-election hopes, similar to the allegations of Trump's attempt to press the Ukrainian president into digging up dirt on Joe Biden. That eventually led to Trump being impeached.The Trump administration has sued Bolton in an attempt to block the publication of the book, with Trump saying that the conversations he had with Bolton were classified. First Amendment experts said that the suit it not likely to stop the book from being published, and its public release is slated for next week.