Lordy, there’s more on those Bob Woodward tapes!
Shockwaves are still rippling from Wednesday’s bombshell revelations that Donald Trump not only understood the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic, he knew just how it was spread and how deadly it could be. And while the debate rages on about whether or not Woodward should have shared the knowledge sooner to spare American lives, more excerpts are being released from the eighteen recorded interviews Woodward conducted with Trump discussing a different death.
In Thursday’s newly-released clip, Trump is heard bragging to Woodward about the events surrounding the brutal execution of Jamal Khashoggi, a longtime Washington Post columnist known for his criticism of the Saudi kingdom. Khashoggi was famously assassinated and dismembered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, after going there to get paperwork for his upcoming marriage. Despite details being released to the press, his body has never been recovered. The CIA concluded a little over a month later that Prince Mohammed Bin-Salman, also known as MBS, had personally ordered Khashoggi’s murder.
Woodward recounts this part of their conversation in his new book, “Rage”, out next week. “The people at the Post are upset about the Khashoggi killing,” Woodward says to Trump in one passage that quotes a conversation they had on January 22nd. “That is one of the most gruesome things. You yourself have said.”
Trump tries to distract by mentioning Iran, but Woodward redirected the conversation and continued to press Trump about MBS’s role in ordering Khashoggi’s killing. Trump finally replies, saying, “I saved his ass.” Amid the US outcry following Khashoggi’s murder, the book quotes Trump as saying, “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”
He also stressed MBS’s claim that he’s innocent, though US intelligence and other foreign intelligence agencies have concluded otherwise. Hearing Trump’s clear preference for the Saudi dictator on the eve of the 19th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks is particularly disturbing.
Breaking: Trump bragged to Bob Woodward that he protected Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman from congressional scrutiny after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
"I saved his ass," Trump said in 2018. "I was able to get Congress to leave him alone."https://t.co/mvTwRdWl3y
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 10, 2020
This isn’t the first time Trump has sided with a foreign dictator over his own intelligence, of course. Aside from ignoring any reports on Russia, including the bounties Putin has paid on American troops, Trump has now doubled down on his admiration for North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. One-upping his famous statement saying “we fell in love”, Trump tweeted about the dictator’s health on Thursday amid the continuing Woodward book controversy.