“I saved his a**,” Trump said, claiming he protected MBS, who, according to a CIA investigation, had ordered the murder, says journalist Bob Woodward.
By World Israel News Staff
President Donald Trump bragged that he protected Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from congressional scrutiny after the assassination of the American-based Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to veteran reporter Bob Woodward, Business Insider reported Thursday.
Insider obtained a copy of Woodward’s latest book, “Rage,” set to be released next Tuesday.
Trump recently slammed the book as “a FAKE, as always, just as many of the others have been.”
Woodward, according to Insider, conducted 18 wide-ranging interviews with the president as well as interviews with several senior White House officials and former administration officials.
Woodward wrote that he pressed Trump about the Khashoggi assassination on January 22, shortly after the president’s return from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In October 2018, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 59, was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of a premeditated killing, AP reported. His body was dismembered before being disposed of, a top Turkish prosecutor said. After weeks of investigation, the CIA, among others, concluded that Prince Mohammed, aka MBS, had ordered the assassination.
A year before the murder, Khashoggi had a falling out with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Insider reported at the time. “Since that time, the reporter has been quite critical of the government and the prince,” the news site said, adding that Khashoggi reportedly told colleagues that he feared for his life.
Defending ‘America’s best interests?’
The president defied calls to punish Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, saying his decision was based on America’s best interests.
“I saved his a**,” Trump said amid the U.S. outcry following the murder, the book says, the Insider reports. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”
Trump stressed, the report continues, that Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars on U.S. products as well as MBS’s claim of innocence.
“He will always say that he didn’t do it,” Trump said of MBS, according to the Insider. “He says that to everybody, and frankly I’m happy that he says that. But he will say that to you, he will say that to Congress, and he will say that to everybody. He’s never said he did it.”
“Do you believe that he did it?” Woodward asked.
“No, he says that he didn’t do it,” Trump replied.
“I know, but do you really believe —” Woodward said before Trump cut him off.
The White House did not offer a comment when contacted by Insider.
Who was Jamal Khashoggi?
Daniel Greenfield, in a Frontpage Mag article published shortly after the assassination, gives a different perspective on Khashoggi, calling him “the terrorist truth behind the media lies.”
According to Greenfield, Khashoggi, whom he describes as a “Muslim Brotherhood pal of Osama bin Laden,” once reminisced about his high school years with the infamous Islamic terrorist, saying, “We were hoping to establish an Islamic state anywhere. We believed that the first one would lead to another, and that would have a domino effect which could reverse the history of mankind.”
Greenfield says Khashoggi followed bin Laden to Afghanistan and credited Adel Batterjee, once listed by the U.S. Treasury Department as one of “the world’s foremost terrorist financiers,” with bringing him in as a war correspondent.
“The media calls Khashoggi a journalist, but his writings from 1980s Afghanistan read as jihadist propaganda with titles like, ‘Arab Mujahadeen in Afghanistan II: Exemplifies the Unity of Islamic Ummah,’” Greenfield writes.
Greenfield reveals that after Afghanistan, Khashoggi worked as a media adviser for former Saudi intelligence boss Prince Turki bin Faisal, who also allegedly had ties with Al Qaeda.