They brought a freaking bone saw!
Courtesy of CBS News:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Tuesday morning in Saudi Arabia amid expectations that the oil-rich, ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom was about to present its version of events surrounding the disappearance and alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Pompeo was dispatched on Monday, immediately after President Donald Trump had a phone call with the Saudi king, whom he said denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate.
Speaking to journalists after that phone call, Mr. Trump offered a possible explanation to counter Turkish officials’ assertion that a team of 15 Saudi operatives arrived at their consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and killed and dismembered the Saudi writer. It could have been “rogue killers,” Mr. Trump suggested.
But after two weeks of flat denials from the Saudi regime of any role in Khashoggi’s disappearance — continuing, apparently, right up to Mr. Trump’s phone conversation with King Salman, two sources close to the kingdom confirmed to CBS News later on Monday that the Saudi government was planning to admit he was killed, but call it an accident.
The officials told CBS News reporter Kylie Atwood that the Saudi government was expected to claim a mission was approved by King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (often referred to as MBS), to interrogate Khashoggi, but not kill him. They will say, according to Atwood’s sources, that the journalist died as the result of an interrogation by Saudi operatives that went wrong.
According to CBS News, the new strategy is to blame an overzealous general for the planned kidnapping and to claim that the Crown Prince had no idea it was happening.
Of course, the problem with that excuse is the fact that everybody knows this MBS fellow runs a tight ship and that NOTHING is done without his okay.
In fact, there are US intercepts that prove MBS was in on the plot:
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.
The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.
This excuse is so flimsy even the ever easy to fool Lindsey Graham is not buying it.
Lindsey Graham: MBS is a “wrecking ball” who had Khashoggi murdered, he’s “toxic” and he’s “gotta go.”
“This guy is a wrecking ball, he had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused.” (via Fox) pic.twitter.com/aUnZQzsdb8
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 16, 2018
For his part, Trump is now trying to deny that he has any financial connections to Saudi Arabia.
For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2018
The only problem with that is he forgot to inform the Donald Trump of 2015.
Trump, August 2015: I make $40 million, $50 million from Saudi Arabia. I like them a lot. pic.twitter.com/UaeKtBwmfL
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 12, 2018
Yeah, I don’t think that Trump is going to be able to bullshit his way out of this one.
And apparently, neither will his pal the Crown Prince.