Among the 18 interviews with veteran reporter Bob Woodward, President Donald Trump admitted that he protected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud after the murder and coverup of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashogi.
BusinessInsider posted the excerpt Thursday from the book in which Trump bragged he “saved his ass,” from Congress. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”
In the wake of Khashoggi’s murder, Trump went around Congress to sell $8 billion in weapons to the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates because there were protests by officials against rewarding the Crown Prince
“The people at the Post are upset about the Khashoggi killing,” Woodward told Trump in a Jan. 22 interview. “That is one of the most gruesome things. You yourself have said.”
“Yeah, but Iran is killing 36 people a day, so —” Trump interrupted before Woodward pivoted back to talking about Khashoggi’s murder.
“Well, I understand what you’re saying, and I’ve gotten involved very much. I know everything about the whole situation,” boasted Trump.
“He will always say that he didn’t do it,” Trump said of MBS. “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 said.
“I know, but do you really believe —” Woodward began, but Trump cut him off.
“He says very strongly that he didn’t do it. Bob, they spent $400 billion over a fairly short period of time,” the president said. “And you know, they’re in the Middle East. You know, they’re big. Because of their religious monuments, you know, they have the real power. They have the oil, but they also have the great monuments for religion. You know that, right? For that religion.”
The comment was reminiscent of the comments Trump made in Helsinki when Russian President Vladimir Putin told Trump he didn’t hack the 2016 election.
“I see no reason why it would be,” Trump said when asked by reporters about it. Trump later said he misspoke.