The Washington Post:
Trump offered embattled Saudi Arabia a suggestion of support Tuesday amid mounting pressure over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the kingdom is being judged “guilty until proven innocent.”
The remarks, in an interview with the Associated Press, put Trump widely out of step with many world leaders amid Turkish assertions that Khashoggi was killed by a Saudi hit team this month after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
They also could complicate talks planned Wednesday between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish leaders on the Khashoggi case.
“Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent,” Trump told the AP, comparing the situation to allegations of sexual assault leveled against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.
He’s basically said the same thing about Russia in similar situations: Hey, don’t judge before all the facts are in.
A noble sentiment indeed were it not for the fact that A) neither Saudi Arabia nor Russia work from the idea of a presumption of innocence, and B) Trump himself has been known to jump to the “guilty until proven innocent” side — “Lock Her Up!” sound familiar?
Trump has also noted that both Saudi Arabia and Russia will be buying “billions of dollars” worth of stuff from us — it’s all about the jobs, right? — and we can’t risk losing all that money. There’s a name for that, but it usually involves a pimp and a hotel with hourly rates.
For all that, it makes you wonder just what kind of hold Saudi Arabia and Russia have on Trump beyond the lure of money. What do they have on him that is so devastating that he’d sell out his own country to keep dictators and autocrats both happy and silent?