Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | ePaper

Trump says he stands by Saudi crown prince

  • Print
Al Jazeera News :
US President Donald Trump has reiterated his support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, despite CIA assessment that the Saudi royal ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.
Trump refused to comment on whether the crown prince was complicit in the murder, despite pleas from Senators to condemn the gruesome murder of the Washington Post columnist more than two months ago.
"He's the leader of Saudi Arabia. They've been a very good ally," Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office.
Asked by Reuters if standing by the kingdom meant standing by MBS, Trump responded: "Well, at this moment, it certainly does."
Trump said that the "crown prince vehemently denies" involvement in a killing that has sparked outrage around the world.
The US president has come under fierce criticism from fellow Republicans in the Senate over the issue, particularly after CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed them. Last month, the CIA assessed that MBS ordered the killing, which Trump called "very premature".
"You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organised by people under the command of MBS," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, said last week.
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a resolution last week saying MBS was complicit in the murder.
Trump also said he hoped US senators would not propose stopping arms sales to the Saudis, deals he has doggedly fought to save ever since the gruesome details of Khashoggi's murder were leaked by Turkey.
"And I really hope that people aren't going to suggest that we should not take hundreds of billions of dollars that they're going to syphon off to Russia and to China," Trump said. Trump and his cabinet members have dismissed reports of a CIA assessment that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing.
"We have no smoking gun the crown prince was involved, not the intelligence community or anyone else. There is no smoking gun," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week. The US president himself said last month that the truth may never come out regarding the Khashoggi murder.
"It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't," Trump said in a much-criticised statement.

More News For this Category

Venezuela crisis: Russian military planes land near Caracas

Venezuela crisis: Russian military planes land near Caracas

Two Russian military planes landed in Venezuela's main airport on Saturday, reportedly carrying dozens of troops and large amounts of equipment.The planes were sent to "fulfil technical military contracts", Russia's

Thailand awaits election results as junta poised to retain power

Thailand awaits election results as junta poised to retain power

AFP  :Thailand on Monday awaited the results of its first election since a 2014 coup, with the junta primed to retain its grip on power after a vote that saw

Netanyahu to meet Trump, Golan Heights recognition expected

Netanyahu to meet Trump, Golan Heights recognition expected

AFP  :Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Donald Trump in Washington on Monday amid expectations the US president will formally recognize the Jewish state's sovereignty over the Golan

Seven injured as Gaza rocket hits home in central Israel

Seven injured as Gaza rocket hits home in central Israel

Seven people have been injured after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in central Israel, police say.The rocket came down at 05:25 local time (03:25 GMT)

US air strikes kill a dozen Afghans, battle intensifies in Taliban strongholds

Reuters :US air strikes in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz killed about a dozen civilians on Saturday, local officials said, as battle intensified there and in southern Helmand province.The

 New Zealand's Ardern orders top-level inquiry

New Zealand's Ardern orders top-level inquiry

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered a top-level inquiry into the Christchurch mosque attacks that left 50 people dead.She said a royal commission would examine whether police and

Maduro vows ‘deep’ change in Venezuela government amid pressure

Maduro vows ‘deep’ change in Venezuela government amid pressure

AP, Venezuela :Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro vowed a major shake-up in his government, a sign he is feeling pressure from U.S. sanctions and an international outcry for him to resign."I

Hundreds of thousands protest in London to demand new Brexit vote

Hundreds of thousands protest in London to demand new Brexit vote

Hundreds of thousands of protesters swamped London on Saturday demanding another referendum on EU membership amid political paralysis over Brexit, in one of the country's biggest protests in decades.Organisers said

Majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws

AP, Washington : A majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws, and most believe places of worship and schools have become less safe over the last two decades, according to

Thailand's coup leader and 'democratic front' face-off in long-awaited election

Thailand's coup leader and 'democratic front' face-off in long-awaited election

Reuters, Bangkok :Thai voters flocked to the polls on Sunday in a long-delayed election following a 2014 coup, a race that pits a military junta chief seeking to retain power