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:

https://twitter.com/thekarami/status/1052342031484313600

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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