President Donald Trump is totally defending Saudi Arabia in the apparent torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Since Monday the U.S. President has made clear his relationship with the Saudi royal family, which predates his presidency by decades, is worth more to him than what reportedly is the murder of a Washington Post journalist.
Trump, as he does on the campaign trail, is using a total lie as his reason to support King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the latter of which is alleged to have ordered the gruesome murder.
The president says he doesn’t want to “walk away” from Saudi Arabia.
“Who are we hurting? It’s 500,000 jobs,” Trump told Fox News Business Wednesday morning, his second interview with that network in 12 hours. “It will be ultimately $110 billion, the biggest order in the history of our country from an outside military. And I said ‘We’re gonna turn that down? Why would we do that?'”
Trump on Saudi arms deal: "Who are we hurting? It's 500,000 jobs. It will be ultimately $110 billion, the biggest order in the history of our country from an outside military. And I said 'We're gonna turn that down? Why would we do that?'" pic.twitter.com/MWGpK3DwLP
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) October 17, 2018
To be clear, there is no $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis.
As The Washington Post Fact Checker column last week reported: “Trump’s $110 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia: still fake.”
The Post calls Trump’s claim, “fanciful and unlikely to come to fruition,” and notes:
Most of the publicly announced items had been previously announced by the Obama administration and there appeared to be few, if any, signed contracts. Rather, many of the announcements were MOIs — memorandums of intent. There were six specific items, adding up to $28 billion, but all had been previously notified to Congress by the Obama administration.
News outlets have noted that Saudi Arabia needs the U.S. far more than the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia.
Trump is literally covering up what appears to be the horrific torture and murder of a U.S. permanent resident, a respected journalist, to “protect” an arms deal that doesn’t even exist. And putting the moral authority of the United States on the line to do so.