Donald Trump on Jamal Khashoggi

Quotes by Donald Trump on the Murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

THEN
NOW


Oct 2018
Oct 2018 - 2019

Donald Trump on Jamal Khashoggi Then
Donald Trump on Jamal Khashoggi Now


#DonaldTrump 10/11/18: "❲If the Saudis murdered Jamal Khashoggi❳ there will be severe punishment." » #Trump 11/20/18: "We may never know all of the facts…The US intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia." Click To Tweet

Quotes by Donald Trump on the Murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

THEN

Oct 2018

Donald Trump on Jamal Khashoggi Then
“We would be very upset and angry if [the Saudis murdered Jamal Khashoggi]. As of this moment, they deny it. And deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes… They deny it. They deny it every way you can imagine. In the not-too-distant future, I think we’ll know an answer…

“[If the Saudis murdered Khashoggi] I tell you what I don’t wanna do. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, all these com– I don’t wanna hurt jobs. I don’t wanna lose an order like that. There are other ways of– punishing… There will be severe punishment.”
- Oct 11, 2018

“[If the Saudis murdered Khashoggi the consequences will] have to be very severe. I mean, it’s bad, bad stuff.”
- Oct 18, 2018

NOW

Oct 2018 - 2019

Donald Trump on Jamal Khashoggi Now
“Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen.’ He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer.”

“It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers — who knows. [I told King Salman] the world is watching…and this is very important to get to the bottom of it.”
Oct 15, 2018 -
“Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate. He…told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly.”

“I spoke to the crown prince… He said he and his father knew nothing about it.… I spoke to the king yesterday, the crown prince, today wanting to know what was going on, what was happening, and he said very strongly that he and his father knew nothing about it but they are starting a major, they’ve already started a major investigation to find out. And so the answers will be forthcoming…

“When I spoke to the father, it just sounded to me like he felt like he did not do it. He did not know about it and it sounded like, you know, the concept of rogue killers. But I don’t know. I think the investigation will lead to an answer…

“Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was innocent all the way… Hopefully they’ll get to an answer as to what happened. But I will say they were very strong in their denial about themselves knowing.”
Oct 17, 2018 -

Associated Press, Oct 17, 2018
Read the transcript of AP’s interview with President Trump

(retrieved 1/30/19)

“I do [find the Saudis’ story that Khashoggi died in a fistfight credible], I do. It’s early, we haven’t finished our review or investigation, but…I think it’s a very important first step.”
Oct 20, 2018 -
“My first question to [Mohammad bin Salman] was, ‘Did you know anything about it in terms of the initial planning?’…Prince Mohammed replied that he didn’t. I said, ‘Where did it start?’ And he said it started at lower levels… I want to believe [his denials].”
Oct 24, 2018 -

The Guardian, Oct 24, 2018
Khashoggi death: Saudi prince may have been involved, Trump says

(retrieved 1/30/19)
“They did a bad job of execution and they did a bad job of talking about it or covering it up. I’m saying they should have never thought about it. Once they thought about it, everything else they did was bad too… It should have never happened.”
Oct 24, 2018 -

The Guardian, Oct 24, 2018
Khashoggi death: Saudi prince may have been involved, Trump says

(retrieved 1/30/19)
King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi.

“In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaThe United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.”
Nov 20, 2018 -

White House, Nov 20, 2018
Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia

(retrieved 1/30/19)

“[The CIA] didn’t conclude [with confidence that Mohammad bin Salman was responsible]… They did not come to a conclusion… Nobody has concluded. I don’t know if anybody is going to be able to conclude that the Crown Prince did it… I don’t know.But whether he did or whether he didn’t, he denies it vehemently. His father denies it — the King — vehemently… They’re vehemently denying it. And we have hundreds of thousands of jobs. Do people really want me to give up hundreds of thousands of jobs? And frankly, if we went by this standard, we wouldn’t be able to have anybody as an ally

Saudi Arabia is tremendously helpful in the Middle EastIsrael would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia. So what does that mean? Israel is going to leave? We want Israel to leave?…

“We have an ally that said they did not commit, at the top level — the Crown Prince, the King — they did not commit this atrocity And it’s an atrocity… But the fact is, they’ve been a very strong ally. They create tremendous wealth. They create, really, a tremendous number of jobs in their purchases. And very importantly, they keep the oil price down…

“Maybe the world should be held accountable, because the world is a vicious place.”
Nov 22, 2018 -

White House, Nov 22, 2018
Thanksgiving Teleconference with Members of the Military

(retrieved 1/30/19)

“If you look at my statement, it’s maybe [Mohammad bin Salman] did [order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi] and maybe he didn’t. But he denies it. And people around him deny it… And the CIA did not say affirmatively he did it, either, by the way. I’m not saying that they’re saying he didn’t do it, but they didn’t say it affirmatively.”
Nov 27, 2018 -

Washington Post, Nov 27, 2018
Trump stands by Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing

(retrieved 1/30/19)
“I think it’s been heavily investigated… By everybody… Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of America product. That means something to me. It’s a big producer of jobs… This is a vicious, hostile place. If you’re going to look at Saudi Arabia, look at Iran, look at other countries.”
June 21, 2019 -
“I did not [talk to Mohammad bin Salman about the just-released U.N. report implicating the Crown Prince in Khashoggi’s murder] because it really didn’t come up in that discussion.”
June 23, 2019 -

NBC News, June 23, 2019
President Trump's full, unedited interview with Meet the Press

(retrieved 6/26/19)


Context

On November 16, 2018, the CIA reportedly concluded with “high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, contradicting claims by the Saudi government that he was not involved.1Washington Post, Nov 16, 2018
CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination
retrieved 1/30/19

On November 27, 2018, the Washington Post reported that the CIA has presented intelligence to Trump Administration officials and to Republican and Democratic lawmakers their analysis pointing to Mohammad bin Salman’s direct involvement in Khashoggi‘s murder.2Washington Post, Nov 27, 2018
Trump stands by Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing
retrieved 1/30/19



An in-depth account of Khashoggi’s murder is here:

The Story of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder and How the World Looked the Other Way



“Places like Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for us. We protect them.”

– Donald Trump, July 16, 20083Howard Stern Show (via Factbase), July 16, 2008
Interview: Donald Trump on The Howard Stern Show – July 16, 2008
retrieved 2/13/19



#DonaldTrump 10/18/18: "❲If the Saudis murdered Jamal Khashoggi the consequences will be❳ very severe." » #Trump 11/22/18: "If we went by this standard, we wouldn’t be able to have anybody as an ally." Click To Tweet