Trump Just Compared the Case of Jamal Khashoggi to the Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation

“Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that.”

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump reportedly compared the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh with that of the Saudi Arabian government in the suspected killing of Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

“Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”

Earlier this month, Trump defended Kavanaugh despite the sexual assault allegations against him. At his swearing in ceremony, he falsely claimed that the new justice had been “proven innocent.” “[In] our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” Trump said. The president has frequently lamented the treatment of the justice since then. (Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.) 

Just a few hours before his comment on Tuesday linking the two cases, Trump again defended the Saudi Arabian government, tweeting: “Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate.” Khashoggi disappeared into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2. Turkish officials claim he was murdered and dismembered in the consulate. 

And on Monday, Trump suggested that “rogue killers” may instead be responsible for the alleged murder. He also dismissed calls to stop $110 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia as punishment for their alleged role in Khashoggi’s disappearance. “What good does that do us?” Trump told reporters. “There are other things we can do.” But he did send Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday, and the two seemed quite comfortable:

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.