Trump calls Saudi crown prince a ‘friend of mine’ as he dodges question about Khashoggi murder at joint meeting and congratulations kingdom for having ‘ceased’ supporting terror
- Trump met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
- When asked about Jama Khashoggi’s murder, Trump said: ‘Thank you very much’
- The CIA reportedly concluded the crown prince directed the killing
- Trump said he has a ‘great relationship’ with MBS
- He thanked the Saudi Kingdom for fighting terror
- He said they and others supported terror in the past but were now going ‘the exact opposite way’
President Donald Trump avoided a question about Jamal Khashoggi during a meeting with the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he called ‘my friend.’
The president was twice asked about the murdered Saudi Washington Post columnist during a sit-down meeting with the crown prince – their first formal meeting since the killing.
When reporters asked if he had anything to say about it, Trump responded with a simple ‘thank you.’ In one instances, he answered a succeeding question about China instead.
President Donald Trump described Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a ‘good friend’ in a joint meeting Saturday
Trump also spoke warmly about prince Mohammed, who also has cultivated ties with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was in the room for the meeting in Osaka at the G20 Saturday.
He called Mohammed a ‘friend of mine’ and someone ‘who has really done things.’ He described reforms in the kingdom such as allowing women to drive cars. ‘It’s like a revolution in a really positive way,’ Trump said.
‘I want to congratulate you. You’ve done a really spectacular job.’
‘As you know Saudi Arabia’s a big purchaser of am products and especially of American military equipment. We make the best in the world by far. We appreciate that they do,’ Trump said.
Trump called the crown prince a ‘friend’ during a meeting Saturday
The president pointed to Saudi U.S. military equipment purchases and hailed internal reforms
According to reports the CIA concluded Mohammed order the Khashoggi killing. Khashoggi was a critic of the ruling royal family
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman smiles as Russia’s Vladimir Putin raises his eyebrows during a chat at the general meeting
Trump also spoke about his ‘very good friendship’ with China’s President Xi Jinping.
‘Like I have with Mohammed,’ Trump said. ‘We have great relationship and that’s very important. It’s about relationship, otherwise you end up in very bad wars and lots of problems. Relationship is very important,’ Trump said.
MBS, speaking after Trump, said: ‘We are trying to do our best for our country, Saudi Arabia. It’s a long journey. Believe me my people Saudi people did a lot in the past few years and we need to do more,’ he said.
The CIA has concluded that the crown prince ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashogg
Trump acknowledged the kingdom’s past support for terror groups, but said it had stopped. Although he didn’t mention the Sept. 11th attacks, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis – prompting the Bush administration to demand an immediate crackdown in the aftermath of Sept. 11th.
‘Almost at the top of the list and probably is at the top of the list is your fight on terror,’ Trump said.
‘For a long time, there were questions as to whether Saudi Arabia and other countries were sponsoring terror. I know when not only speaking to you and your father the king, a tremendous effort’s been put on to go the exact opposite way,’ Trump said.
‘And so all of the money that was going for groups that we don’t like that are not good, you’ve ceased and I appreciate that very much,’ Trump said.
‘We’ve carefully followed it, we’ve studied it carefully and you have actually stopped. Trump said he appreciates it and ‘the world really appreciates it.’