White House

Trump: Washington Post Columnist’s Disappearance ‘No Good’

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House, October 11, 2018. (Kevvin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Trump on Thursday called the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “no good,” and said he is “probably getting closer” to discovering what happened to Khashoggi.

“I have to find out what happened,” before deciding on consequences for Saudi Arabia, Trump told Fox & Friends. “We’re probably getting closer than you might think but I have to find out what happened.”

“We don’t like it. I don’t like it. No good,” Trump said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, disappeared last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was set to retrieve a document he needed to marry his fiancée.

Turkish officials have alleged that Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by a team flown in from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has denied Khashoggi died inside the building and claims he left shortly after entering, but has not produced video to prove it.

Khashoggi, a former adviser to top Saudi officials who became a full-throated critic of the Saudi government, had gone into exile and was living in the U.S. before his disappearance. His monthly column for the Post denounced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies, and he had expressed fear about being arrested for his dissent.

“The people being arrested are not even being dissidents, they just have an independent mind,” he told the BBC days before his disappearance.

The Trump administration has come under fire for not responding strongly enough to Khashoggi’s disappearance, with critics charging that it was reluctant to upset its Saudi allies. The president said Thursday that relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are still “excellent” and expressed unwillingness to cancel a $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia even if the government is found responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“A part of that is what we are doing with our defense systems and everybody is wanting them and, frankly, I think that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country,” Trump said of canceling the deal.

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Sad Finale

Spoilers Ahead. Look, I share David’s love of Game of Thrones. But I thought the finale was largely a bust, for failings David mostly acknowledges in passing (but does not allow to dampen his ardor). The problems with the finale were largely the problems of this entire season. Characters that had been ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More
Film & TV

Game of Thrones: A Father’s Legacy Endures

Warning! If you don't want to read any spoilers from last night's series finale of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Right now. There is a lot to unpack about the Thrones finale, and I fully understand many of the criticisms I read on Twitter and elsewhere. Yes, the show was compressed. Yes, there were moments ... Read More