Once again Donald Trump shows us his true colors as he fails to rebuke Saudi Arabia for its part in the disappearance of Saudi-born Jamal Khashoggi, who is a resident of Virginia and a contributing writer to The Washington Post. Khashoggi moved to the United States in 2017 and had been critically outspoken against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The heir apparent to the throne in Saudi Arabia is the king’s son, Mohammad bin Salman, who is making waves as he presents himself as a reformist and a moderate but is committing the same type of human rights violations that have always been a problem for the oil rich country.
Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner are both friendly with bin Salman, even if Trump has at times criticized Saudi Arabia for not being grateful enough for the support it receives from the United States. Many believe bin Salman is trying to have his cake and eat it too as he presents a face of reform to the public but then, like any good bait and switch routine, punishes his citizens for taking advantage of said reforms. A good example of this is relaxing bans in Saudi Arabia that made it illegal for women to drive a car. However, so far this year, seventeen women’s rights activists have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
Last week Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain documents relating to his upcoming marriage to his Turkish fiancée. His fiancée watched Khashoggi go into the embassy, but as she waited for him, he never reemerged. Turkish Intelligence has searched the embassy to no avail and while Saudi Arabia vehemently denies any wrongdoing on its part, the embassy has failed to provide footage of what happened to Khashoggi after he entered the building, and any footage that does exist flew back to Saudi Arabia with official investigators.
Turkish President Erdogan publicly commented that if Khashoggi left the embassy shortly after he entered, then the Saudis should be able to provide footage to prove that. Donald Trump, however, was nonchalant when asked about the disappearance of a journalist who has been living in the U.S. and is employed by a prominent American media outlet. The bottom line is that Trump couldn’t care less.