Saudis made first move to silence Jamal Khashoggi directly after he criticized Trump during speech: UN report
US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman -- shown here at the White House in 2017. (AFP/File / NICHOLAS KAMM)

The government of Saudi Arabia made its first move to silence slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi all the way back in 2016 shortly after he delivered critical remarks about then-President Elect Donald Trump at a think tank in Washington, D.C.


According to a United Nations report about the Saudis' alleged hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's phone, Khashoggi delivered "critical remarks about Donald Trump's ascent to the U.S. presidency" in December 2016, and then "the Saudi regime cancelled Mr. Khashoggi's column in the al-Hayat newspaper" shortly afterward.

Khashoggi would ultimately be barred by the Saudi government from appearing on television or even attending conferences. Then, in October 2018, Saudi officials murdered Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

The report does not offer any evidence that Trump himself or anyone in his administration had any hand in the Saudis' efforts to silence Khashoggi, although the initial move to take away the late journalist's newspaper column came during a time when the Saudi government was trying to establish a good relationship with the incoming administration.

Saudi Arabia would ultimately be the first foreign country that Trump would visit as president in 2017.