- President Donald Trump boasted that he protected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi.
- “I saved her …” Trump said amid US outcry over Khashoggi’s murder, according to Bob Woodward’s new book. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”
- The president also told Woodward that he does not believe MBS ordered Khashoggi’s murder, despite the fact that the United States and other foreign intelligence services concluded that he personally ordered the attack.
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President Donald Trump boasted that he protected Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) from Congressional scrutiny after the brutal assassination of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
This is according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s next book, “Rage”. The book, a copy of which was obtained by Insider, will be released on September 15.
Woodward conducted 18 wide-ranging interviews with the book’s president, as well as interviews with senior White House officials and former administration officials. However, Trump last month slammed the book as “a FALSE, as always, just as many of the others have been.”
Woodward wrote that Trump called him on Jan.22 shortly after attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. During the conversation, Woodward pressed the president on the gruesome murder of Khashoggi.
The longtime Washington Post columnist was known for his criticism of the Saudi kingdom. The 59-year-old journalist was assassinated and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, after traveling there to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding.
The CIA concluded just over a month after MBS had personally ordered Khashoggi’s murder.
“People at the Post are shocked by Khashoggi’s murder,” Woodward told Trump on Jan.22, according to his book. “That’s one of the creepiest things. You said it yourself.”
“Yes, but Iran is killing 36 people a day, so -” Trump began, before Woodward redirected the conversation about Khashoggi’s murder.
Woodward wrote that he continued to pressure Trump over MBS’s role in ordering the killing of Khashoggi, which was widely discussed.
“I saved her …” Trump said in 2018, amid US outcry after Khashoggi’s murder, according to the book. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”
During his January 22 conversation with Woodward, the president said, “Well, I understand what you are saying and I have been very involved. I know all about the whole situation.”
Trump added that Saudi Arabia spends billions of dollars on US products. He also stressed MBS’s declaration of innocence, despite the fact that US intelligence and other foreign intelligence agencies concluded otherwise.
“He’ll always say he didn’t,” said MBS’s Trump. “He tells everyone, and frankly I’m glad he says it. But he’ll tell you, he’ll tell Congress, and he’ll tell everyone. He never said he did.”
“Do you think it was him?” Woodward asked.
“No, he says he didn’t,” Trump replied.
“I know, but you really believe it -” Woodward began before Trump interrupted him.
“He says forcefully that he didn’t. Bob, they spent $ 400 billion in a fairly short period of time,” the president said. “And you know, they are in the Middle East. You know, they are big. Because of their religious monuments, you know, they have the real power. They have the oil, but they also have the big monuments for religion. You know that, right? For that religion. “
“They wouldn’t last a week if we’re not there, and they know it,” he added.
Trump has repeatedly used executive power to block or circumvent congressional efforts to sever ties with Riyadh after Khashoggi’s murder.
He vetoed a bipartisan bill to end US support for the Saudis in Yemen. The war in Yemen fostered a devastating humanitarian crisis and the Saudi-led coalition killed civilians using US-made bombs.
The president also bypassed Congress to push through an arms sale of about $ 8 billion to the Saudis and the UAE, and later vetoed several resolutions blocking the sale.
More recently, Trump has moved to circumvent a decades-old arms control pact to sell armed drones to the Saudis and other countries in the region, which has sparked backlash from Democrats and Republicans in Congress.