United States President Donald Trump has criticized his allies in Saudi Arabia, considering that they orchestrated a “cover-up” of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that the operation was "a complete fiasco".
“Their original concept was very bad, they put it into practice very badly and the cover-up was the worst in the history of the cover-ups,” Trump said in statements to the reporters in the Oval Office. “Whoever plotted the whole plan, I think he`s in a great trouble, and he should be,” the president added, referring to the alleged plan to assassinate Khashoggi.
During a meeting with US military leaders, Trump has insisted that “nothing that the Saudis have done in that operation" has gone well. “I would say it was a complete fiasco from the first day,” he underlined.
When asked what he considered a fiasco- whether the alleged plot to assassinate Khashoggi or his unsuccessful cover-up- Trump has responded that the Saudis “should never have thought” of the possibility of getting rid of the journalist. “Once they thought about it, everything else they did was also wrong. There should never have been an execution (of the plan) or a cover-up because it should never have happened," he stressed.
Trump added that on Tuesday he spoke on the phone again with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman, and he said plainly “that he had nothing to do with this, and it was done at a lower level.” Trump has assured that many leaders of influential countries are angry about the murder of the journalist, and has emphasized: “No one is angrier than me”.
He said he planned to ask Congress to send him "recommendations" on possible US responses to what happened, although minutes later, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced a first reprisal: the revocation of the visas of those involved in the death of Khashoggi. Trump has reiterated that he is not inclined to restrict the sale of arms to Riyadh, because “Russia, China, and France would take advantage quickly” of that business opportunity.
The president did not want to clarify if he shared the conclusions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has described the murder of the Saudi journalist as "premeditated" and "savage". “It was very hard with Saudi Arabia, it`s a very bad situation, and President Erdogan did not have any praise” for Riyadh, Trump said.
He also recalled that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Gina Haspel, traveled this week to Turkey to obtain more details about the case of Khashoggi, and Trump hoped to receive more information tomorrow about it. Khashoggi, a critical journalist with Riyadh living in Washington, he was assassinated on October 2 when he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect some documents he needed to be able to marry his Turkish fiancée.