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Khashoggi in defense of Trump



In recent days, a cadre of conservative house Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from the right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work in the past as embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to speak. speak. speak GOP officials who are not authorized to speak persions – which many lawmakers have so far endangered the political risks of doing so; US-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.

Trump's remarks about reporters amid the Khashoggi fallout have inflamed existing tensions between his allies and the media. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) For assaulting a reporter in his bid for Congress last year.

"Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my child of – he's my guy, "Trump said.

Hours earlier, prominently conservative television personalities were making presentations about Khashoggi's background.


Michael Beer holds a poster during a rally about the disappearance of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (Matt McClain / The Washington Post)

"Khashoggi was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood," Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner asserted on Thursday's highly rated "Outnumbered" show. Faulkner then dismissed another guest who claimed her claim "iffy."

The message was echoed on the campaign trail. Virginia Republican Corey A. Stewart, who is challenging Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), A local radio program Thursday said "Khashoggi was not a good guy himself."

While Khashoggi was once sympathetic to Islamist movements, he moved toward a more liberal, secular point of view, according to experts on the Middle East who have tracked his career. Khashoggi was bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s during the Civil War in Afghanistan, but his interactions with bin Laden were as a journalist.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, left his home country last year and what granted residency in the United States by federal authorities. He lived in Virginia and wrote for The Washington Post.

Nevertheless, the smears have escalated. Donald Trump Jr. the president's eldest son and political key booster, shared another person's tahoe a week that Khashoggi was "tooling around Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden" in the 1980s , even though the context is a feature story on bin Laden's activities.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Leah Mills / AP)
A broadcast CR-TV, a conservative online outlet by popular talk-radio host Mark Levin, Khashoggi a "longtime friend" Trump was the victim of "insane" media conspiracy to tarnish him.

A story in far-right FrontPage magazine casts Khashoggi as "a cynical and manipulative apologist for Islamic terrorism, not the mythical martyred dissident whose disappearance the media has spent the worst part of a week raving about, and a cartoon of bin Laden and Khashoggi with their arms around each other.

The conservative push comes as a supporter of Saudi government on Twitter. Khashoggi as a supporter

"Trump wants to take a soft line, so Trump supporters are finding excuses for him to take it," said William Kristol, of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now outlawed in Saudi Arabia as a terrorist organization. a conservative trump critic.

Several members of the tragedy are attacking the Capitol Hill and conservative media, the GOP said

The GOP officials declined to share the names of the lawmakers and others who are talking about Khashoggi.

Fred Hiatt, The Post editor Khashoggi's work, sharply criticized the false and distorted claims about Khashoggi, who has been killed and dismissed by Saudi operatives.

"As anyone knows who knew Jamal – or read his columns – he was dedicated to the values ​​of free speech and open debate. He went into exile to promote those values, and now he has lost his life for his dogged determination in their defense, "Hiatt said in a statement. "It may not be surprising that some Saudi-inspired trolls are now trying to break the record by smearing Jamal. But in both cases it is reprehensible. "

Trump said Thursday it appears that Khashoggi is dead and warned that his administration could consider" very severe "measures against Saudi Arabia, which is its own self-investigation. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also announced that he would not attend the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia next week, delivering the Trump administration's first formal rebuke of Saudi Arabia's royal family.

"The president is concerned. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.), who met with. "He believes the relationship is important, so do I, but he understands he's a leader on the world stage and everybody is watching and he's very concerned," said Sen. Trump on Thursday.

Trump, whose grip on his party remains three weeks or less before the midterm elections, has seen his Saudi Arabia bolstered not only by the malignancy of Khashoggi, but also by a conservative media infrastructure that is generally wary of the media and establishment Republicans.

"Donald Trump is holding his eye on the ball, holding his eye on the geopolitical ball, the national security ball. He's not going to get sidetracked by what happened to a journalist, maybe, in the consulate there. Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday

"For those who are screaming blood for the Saudis – look, these people are key allies," evangelical leader Pat Robertson said this week. "We've got an arms deal that everybody wanted a piece of. , , , It's a lot of jobs, a lot of money come to our coffers. Willy-nilly. "

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill, on the other hand, are discussing the possibility of legislative action against Saudi Arabia or other ways to read. support.

Kashmiri's disappearance to the intelligence committees,

But in both the House and Senate, lawmakers without seeking clearance, including the leading Republicans on foreign policy matters, by the Trump administration to slow-walk responses to congressional requests for information about Khashoggi's disappearance, or in some cases ignore lawmakers' questions outright.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Robert Menendez (DN.J.) have taken the step of invoking the Global Magnitsky Act to Trump sanctions over Khashoggi's alleged death, including Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump will suddenly feel pressure to penalize high ranking Saudi officials or take other strong punitive measures.

In the House, a perceived lack of cooperation from the White House on Khashoggi has made some republican acceptance of the war powers resolution to Curtail US military support for the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen's Civil War.

Last year, the House voted 366 to 30 to approve a nonbinding resolution stating that the United States' support for the Saudi-led coalition had not been congressionally authorized – An effort that did not rattle the administration, which continued to build relationships with Saudi royalty.

Earlier this year, the Senate failed to enact legislation that would have curtailed US Support for the Saudi was Jim Mattis' effort to pass the measure.


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