President Trump once again deflected conversation on the brutal death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi—just days after a United Nations probe reported “credible evidence” that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a major ally of the Trump administration, bore responsibility for the brutal killing. The UN report also recommended an FBI investigation.
In a recent phone call with the crown prince, Khashoggi’s death didn’t come up, Trump said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Asked if he would allow the FBI to investigate the killing, Trump said, “I think it’s been heavily investigated.” He added, “I’ve seen so many different reports.” He went on to call the Middle East a “vicious, hostile place.”
“I only say [Saudi Arabia] spend $400 to $450 billion over a period of time, all money, all jobs, buying equipment,” Trump told host Chuck Todd. “I’m not like a fool that says, ‘We don’t want to do business with them.’ And by the way, if they don’t do business with us, you know what they do? They’ll do business with the Russians or with the Chinese.”
Trump: "If [Saudis] don't do business with us you know what they do? They'll do business with the Russians or with the Chinese. … Take their money. Take their money, Chuck." #MTP #IfItsSunday pic.twitter.com/V0yLYYzjj0
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 23, 2019
The Meet the Press interview covered a range of topics, from family separation at the border (which Trump falsely claimed was a policy under President Barack Obama) to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions (“I would say if I had one do over, it would be, I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general,” Trump said). The president also noted that he was “not looking for war” with Iran, but in the event of a war, “it’ll be obliteration like you’ve never seen before.”