Trump Speaks Out in Support of Saudi Arabia

It has been more than a month since the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the later reveal of his gruesome murder. In mid-October it was confirmed that the missing Khashoggi, an active voice against the Saudi government who had felt threatened because of his opinionated activism for some months before his disappearance, had been brutally murdered. Video and audio recordings later surfaced as evidence, as did reports that the CIA had reached the conclusion that the murder took place under the approval and order of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

 

In Trump’s speech on Tuesday November 20th, he shared the statement, “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!” The president went on to speak in support of Saudi Arabia, preserving the relationship, contradicting the previous statements made by Trump earlier in October, claiming that the Saudi Arabia would face varying degrees of “severe” and “very severe” consequences.

 

Trump’s speech centered around the theme of, “America first!” focusing on preserving the relationship with Saudi Arabia due to its high oil production, in order to put America and its safety first. However, the priority placed on this relationship undermines the protection of free speech and basic human rights that were violated in the tragic crime. It is indeed, in the president’s words, “an unacceptable and horrible crime.” Unacceptable and horrible, just as it would be to neglect the systematic misuse of power that led to this very violent death and that so blatantly threatened so many human rights that we, as a country, should stand for.