MSNBC intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance said the Trump administration's reaction to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi seems clearly influenced by Saudi bribery.
The former naval intelligence officer, who speaks Arabic and specialized in the Middle East, said President Donald Trump has apparently taken part in a coverup of the Washington Post columnist's execution -- which the CIA concluded was directed by Saudi crown price Mohammed bin Salman.
"We're in a different world right now," Nance told MSNBC's Joy Reid. "It's never been like this."
The Trump administration reportedly considered extraditing exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from the U.S. to "placate" Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who claims to have gruesome evidence of a Saudi plot to kill Khashoggi.
"He is allowing two governments, the government of Saudi Arabia, to murder one, and then the second government comes to them and then start dripping information until it gets to the pressure point where Donald Trump has to give them something in order to stop the crushing disaster that its going to be when that audio tape or video is released of the murder of Khashoggi," Nance said.
He said that put Trump and the U.S. in a highly compromised position.
"We're not just the lawyers for the government of Saudi Arabia, we're the Michael Cohen of the government of Saudi Arabia," Nance said. "There is no way that money is not exchanging hands. This isn't interest, this has to be some form of bribery going on there, because why would we ever compromise this moral standing that we have held for 200 years within a year?"