Trump Under Fire For Silence On Missing Journalist; “Trump Gave Bin Salman Sense He Can Do Anything”

Critics have condemned the Trump administration’s response to the alleged death of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was reportedly killed on Tuesday after entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.

Some believe that Donald Trump’s intimate relation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman led to the Kingdom’s immune from the US pressure and criticism.

Aaron David Miller, a former Republican and Democratic administrations wrote on Twitter that if Saudis were involved in the journalist’s death or disappearance, “that’s obviously on them”.

He added: “But in failing to call MBS out on just about anything, particularly repression at home, Trump Administration has emboldened him and given him sense he can do anything.”

A professor at University of Ottawa Thomas Juneau said the murder of Khashoggi has to be seen as a “new item in the growing list of reckless Saudi actions” under bin Salman.

Juneau then referred to some of Saudi’s crimes in the Middle East, including “destroying Yemen, blockading Qatar, taking the Lebanese prime minister hostage, sanctioning Canada.” and added, “Eventually Saudi will have to face the costs of all this.”

Nicholas Kristof, a political commentator and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes also said that the White House under Trump has empowered bin Salman as he “confronted Qatar, as he kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister, as he starved Yemenis, as he crushed dissent.”

“Will it continue to sell him weapons if it’s confirmed that he murdered a brave journalist, Jamal Khashoggi?” Kristof asked.

Earlier on Sunday, an anonymous Turkish official told the Reuters news agency that Turkish police believed Khashoggi had been killed and his body then removed from Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Rula Jebreal, a Palestinian foreign policy analyst said the Saudi prince “emboldened by Trump’s war on free press, thinks he can get away with murder.”

Ahmad Algohbary, a freelance journalist mocked Saudis for saying that they will investigate the death of Khashoggi, referring to the tragic incident in which Saudi coalition backed by the US attacked a school bus in Yemen and killed 40 children.

“Saudi killed Jamal Khashoggi and they will announce that they will investigate.” He wrote. “Saudi killed children in a school bus in Yemen and they announced that they will investigate. The killer has become the investigator! This is ridiculous.”

Agence France-Presse correspondent Joe Dyke tweeted that if the killing happened “never again can any Western government pretend the Saudis are ‘modernizing’ or ‘closet liberals.’”

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia’s leadership, has been in self-imposed exile for the past year after leaving the kingdom under what he said was fear of arrest.

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