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Trump: Khashoggi killing the ‘worst’ cover-up ever

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Donald Trump
President
Donald Trump on Tuesday described the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
as the “worst” cover-up in history.

Evan Vucci/AP

  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday described the killing of
    Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as one of the
    worst-ever cover-ups.
  • Trump said he’d leave any decision regarding repercussions
    against Saudi Arabia up to Congress. 
  • The Saudi foreign minister described the killing as a
    “cover-up” and a “rogue operation” on Sunday as he sought to
    distance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the
    incident. 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday described the killing of Jamal
Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as one of the
worst-ever cover-ups, saying “somebody really messed up” when
conceiving of the plan.

“They had a very bad original concept,” Trump said. “It was
carried out poorly, and the
cover-up was one of the
worst in the history of cover-ups. Very simple. Bad deal, should
have never been thought of.”

“Somebody really messed up,” Trump said. “Whoever thought
of that idea, I think is in big trouble.” 

Trump also said he’d leave any decision regarding repercussions
against Saudi Arabia up to Congress.

In terms of what we ultimately do, I’m going to leave it
very much — in conjunction with me — I’m going to leave it up to
Congress,” Trump said.

The president did say, however, that he thought it would be
foolish for the US to cease arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing
the billions of dollars the US would lose in the
process. 


In an interview with Fox News on Sunday
, the Saudi foreign
minister portrayed the operation as “rogue” and said it was
covered up by the people that went beyond their authority.

“This was an operation that was a rogue
operation,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said.
“This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the
authorities and responsibilities they had. They made a mistake
when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate, and they tried
to cover up for it.”

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the consulate on
October 2 and Turkish officials accused the Saudis of brutally
murdering him.

The Saudi government denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s
fate for nearly three weeks, finally acknowledging his death in a
statement last Friday. The Saudis claimed Khashoggi died in a
fistfight, an assertion that has been met with widespread
skepticism.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is suspected of
orchestrating the events that led to Khashoggi’s death, but the
Saudis have sought to distance him from the
incident. 

Trump largely stood by the Saudis as they issued denials
regarding Khashoggi’s whereabouts. When Khashoggi’s death was
officially announced, Trump said he found the Saudi’s narrative
credible. But the president has since expressed doubts, though he
hasn’t implicated the royal family.

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