CNN correspondent slams Trump for suggesting arms sales to Saudi Arabia are more important than human rights
Saudi Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (Image via POMED/Creative Commons.)

A conservative columnist slammed social media conspiracy theorists Thursday for attempting to discredit missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Max Boot, an ex-Republican columnist whose work has been published alongside Khashoggi's in the Washington Post, said he's seen "a lot of slurs online now suggesting he was some kind of evil Muslim Brotherhood jihadist who was trying to undermine the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]."

"There's just no validity to those criticisms," Boot continued.

CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott — a reporter who's known Khashoggi for years and broke a report earlier in the day on US intelligence intercepts about the Saudis attempting to "lure" the journalist into the country — also disputed the conspiracy theories.

"He was an intellectual -- I'm going to say is, he is an intellectual," Labott said. "He was beloved by a lot of people in Washington. Some people discounted what he was saying up until now."

"When you hear President Trump just recently say, 'well, we don't know if they did it but if they did it, I don't think we can cancel those arms sales to Saudi Arabia, it's very important, we're talking about American jobs' — I don't think it's going to fly with Congress, and I don't think it's going to fly with the American people," she added. "Yes, jobs are important but so are human rights. I do think there's a line here and I think the Americans and Congress will not let the White House cross that."

Watch below via CNN: