Trump Once Again Accepts Saudi Arabia’s Denials on Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance

“Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia…”

Olivier Douliery/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

President Donald Trump continued to repeat the denials of the Saudi Arabian government that it had any involvement in the disappearance and likely murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. After speaking with the crown prince Tuesday, the president announced that “answers” would soon be available. 

In his tweet, Trump indicated that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also present for the phone call. Pompeo flew to the kingdom Monday to meet with Saudi officials to discuss the deepening diplomatic crisis.

The president’s apparent eagerness to accept the kingdom’s denial once again comes on the heels of shifting reports, the most recent being that Saudi Arabia is preparing to claim that agents had inadvertently killed Khashoggi during an interrogation gone awry. The possible explanation, which would contradict Turkish officials’ conclusion that the crown prince had directed government agents to kill and dismember Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, would seemingly absolve the crown prince from implications that he personally ordered the assassination.

It would also support Trump’s unsubstantiated suggestion on Monday that “rogue killers” could be behind Khashoggi’s disappearance. “Who knows?” Trump speculated to reporters. Earlier Tuesday, Trump denied having any financial interests in Saudi Arabia, despite having publicly bragged about millions of dollars in business dealings with the kingdom and records of business connections to Saudi officials.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.