US President Donald Trump said he had saved the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia from scrutiny of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, according to an explosive new book.
In one of 18 interviews with legendary investigative reporter Bob Woodward, Trump defended Mohammed bin Salman for the gruesome murder in a Saudi consulate by Khashoggi, a US-based critic of the Crown Prince’s rule.
“I saved his ass,” Trump told Woodward for his upcoming book, Rage, according to an excerpt published Thursday by Business Insider.
“I could get Congress to leave it alone. I could get them to stop,” Trump said.
In an echo of the infamous 2018 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at which the US leader appeared to accept his opposition to meddling in elections, Trump noted that Prince Mohammed denied participation.
“He will always say he didn’t,” Trump was quoted as saying when telling Woodward.
“He says that to everyone, and honestly I’m glad he said that. But he’s going to say that to you, he’s going to say that to Congress, and he’s going to say that to everyone. He never said he was did. “
Khashoggi’s assassination sparked an uproar among U.S. lawmakers, but the Trump administration has stood by Saudi Arabia, including controversial bypassing Congress for a $ 8 billion arms deal.
As he publicly said, Trump defended his stance by pointing out the major oil producer’s purchases of U.S. goods, including weapons.
“He’s saying very strongly that he didn’t,” Trump was quoted as saying when telling Woodward. “Bob, you’ve spent $ 400 billion in a relatively short time.”
Khashoggi, who wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Woodwards newspaper, was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 to process the marriage papers.
Within minutes, the former royal insider who became a critic was strangled to death, and his body was then dismembered, according to Turkish and US officials.
A Saudi court on Monday handed eight nameless defendants between seven and 20 years in prison and overturned five death sentences. The final decision was condemned by Khashoggi’s fiancé and a UN legal expert.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)