The Trump administration is facing its first diplomatic crisis following confirmation that Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by Saudi operatives.
Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was reportedly lured to Saudi Arabia by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, with a document Khashoggi needed for his upcoming wedding.
Both the president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have enjoyed cozy relationships with the Saudi royal family, so this incident may cause more than just diplomatic tension.
Not only is this the first real crisis or test that the administration has faced, but it is a crisis that personally implicates the president and his family, so it will be fascinating to see how the situation plays out.
Considering the fact that the U.S. has recently come under harsh criticism for its continued support of the Saudi coalition’s brutal attack on Yemen, the world will be scrutinizing the president’s response even more closely.
Up until now, the president has continued to praise bin Salman, calling him a “fine man.”
“Well, I do anyway, and I’ve always found him to be a fine man. We’ve have a very good relationship. I’m not happy about this. We have to see what—what happens. You know, we have to see what happens. Nobody knows what happened yet. They don’t know over there. But it’s a very serious situation, and it’s something we’re taking very seriously. OK?” — Trump
A Turkish official has told reporters that Khashoggi was assassinated by a team of 15 Saudi operatives within the Saudi Consulate and that his body was dismembered using a bone saw and smuggled out of the building piece by piece.
Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s worst track records when it comes to human rights violations, and yet the country remains one of the United States’ closest allies in the Middle East.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow Khashoggi’s story.