‘How f***ing stupid would I be?’ Donald Trump decided he wouldn’t ‘pick a fight’ with Saudis over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder because oil prices would skyrocket
- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denied ordering the grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year
- Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, had been critical of the Crown Prince in columns published in The Washington Post
- Donald Trump brushed it off, according to a tell-all written by an anonymous administration official, saying oil prices would skyrocket if he complained
- ”How f***ing stupid would I be?’ the president asked aides, according to the book, saying he would not ‘pick this fight’
- He was murdered on October 2 last year when he entered to a Saudi consulate in Turkey to collect a document that he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee
- Agents of the Saudi government killed Khashoggi inside the consulate and apparently dismembered his body, which has never been found
- Khashoggi’s killers were heard laughing and discussing his murder just moments before it happened, according to secretly recorded tapes
President Donald Trump decided not to actively confront Saudi Arabia’s crown prince over the grislly murderer of columnist Jamal Khashoggi last year because he was afraid global oil prices would spike, according to a forthcoming book.
‘Do you know how stupid it would be to pick this fight?’ Trump asked, according to ‘A Warning,’ penned by an anonymous author described as a senior Trump administration official.
‘Oil would go up to one hundred fifty dollars a barrel. Jesus. How f***ing stupid would I be?’
‘A Warning’ is due in stores this month—and bombshells are trickling out in the press.
President Donald Trump told aides that he thought it would be dumb to confront Saudi Arabia’s royalty about the state-sanctioned murder of Jamal Khashoggi last year
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman is thought to be behind Khashoggi’s brutal killing, but he denies it; he and his father also control the flow of oil from the Middle East’s most petro-prolific natioon
Khashoggi (right) entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2, 2018, to collect a document that he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz (left). Agents of the Saudi government killed Khashoggi inside the consulate and apparently dismembered his body, which has never been found
The anonymous book author writes that Trump told his advisers he had decided not to confront MBS about the headline-grabbing killing. The president has dismissively dodged questions, including two in public from DailyMail.com, about the ensuing scandal.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that it had an early copy of the hotly anticipated tell-all.
Khashoggi was murdered in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, as his fiancee waited outside for him to obtain a marriage license. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known in the West as ‘MBS,’ is thought to be behind it.
Some analysts believe instead that Prince Turki bin Faisal is instead responsible, but it’s undisputed that Riyadh decided to terminate the outspoken sometimes-journalist for his very public anti-kingdom views.
MBS said in September that he takes responsibility but denied that he ordered the slaying of the Saudi citizen, who had criticized him openly in the Post.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS News in October that he did not order the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi
‘This was a heinous crime,’ he said. ‘But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.’
Revelations: The cover of ‘A Warning’, a new book by the same anonymous Trump official who wrote last year’s New York Times op-ed
Asked if he ordered a hit on Khashoggi, the Crown Prince replied: ‘Absolutely not.’
The Crown Prince’s interview came as it was revealed that Khashoggi’s killers were heard laughing and discussing his murder just moments before it happened.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, 2018, to collect a document that he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.
Agents of the Saudi government killed Khashoggi inside the consulate and apparently dismembered his body, which has never been found.
Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people in the slaying and put them on trial, which has been held in secret. As of yet, no one has been convicted.
The Crown Prince described Khashoggi’s slaying as ‘a mistake.’
A United Nations report asserted that Saudi Arabia bore responsibility for the killing and said the Crown Prince’s possible role in it should be investigated.
Saudi Arabia has long insisted the Crown Prince had no involvement in an operation that included agents who reported directly to him.
‘Some think that I should know what three million people working for the Saudi government do daily,’ the Crown Prince said.
‘It’s impossible that the three million would send their daily reports to the leader or the second-highest person in the Saudi government.’
Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, was killed on October 2 shortly after entering the kingdom’s consulate (pictured) in what Riyadh called a ‘rogue’ operation
CCTV footage emerged allegedly showing Jamal Khashoggi’s body parts being carried into Saudi Arabia’s consul residence in bags and suitcases on the day he was murdered
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Key moments surrounding the writer’s disappearance and death
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote critically of the kingdom’s policies and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say a 15-men team tortured, killed and dismembered the writer, while Saudi Arabia says he died in a ‘fistfight.’
Here are some key moments in the slaying of the Washington Post columnist:
BEFORE HIS DISAPPEARANCE
September 2017: The Post publishes the first column by Khashoggi in its newspaper, in which the former royal court insider and longtime journalist writes about going into a self-imposed exile in the U.S. over the rise of Prince Mohammed. His following columns criticize the prince and the kingdom’s direction.
September 28, 2018: Over a year after the Post published his first column, Khashoggi visits the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, seeking documents in order to get married. He’s later told to return October 2, his fiancee Hatice Cengiz says. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a plan or a ‘road map’ to kill Khashoggi was devised in Saudi Arabia during this time.
September 29: Khashoggi travels to London and speaks at a conference.
October 1: Khashoggi returns to Istanbul. At around 4.30pm, a three-person Saudi team arrives in Istanbul on a scheduled flight, checks in to their hotels then visits the consulate, according to Erdogan. The Turkish president says another group of officials from the consulate travel to a forest in Istanbul’s outskirts and to the nearby city of Yalova on a ‘reconnaissance’ trip.
Jamal Khashoggi (right) arriving at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2
THE DAY OF HIS DISAPPEARANCE
3.28am, October 2: A private jet arrives at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport carrying some members of what Turkish media will refer to as a 15-member Saudi ‘assassination squad.’ Other members of the team arrive by two commercial flights in the afternoon. Erdogan says the team includes Saudi security and intelligence officials and a forensics expert. They meet at the Saudi Consulate. One of the first things they do is to dismantle a hard disk connected to the consulate’s camera system, the president says.
11.50am: Khashoggi is called to confirm his appointment at the consulate later that day, Erdogan says.
1.14pm: Surveillance footage later leaked to Turkish media shows Khashoggi walking into the main entrance of the Saudi Consulate. No footage made public ever shows him leaving. His fiancee waits outside, pacing for hours.
3.07pm: Surveillance footage shows vehicles with diplomatic license plates leaving the Saudi Consulate for the consul general’s home some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away.
5.50pm: Khashoggi’s fiancee alerts authorities, saying he may have been forcibly detained inside the consulate or that something bad may have happened to him, according to Erdogan.
7pm: A private plane from Saudi Arabia carries six members of the alleged Saudi squad from Istanbul to Cairo, the next day returning to Riyadh.
11pm: Seven members of the alleged Saudi squad leave on another private jet to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which the next day returns to Riyadh. Two others leave by commercial flights.
Erdogan confirms reports that a ‘body double’ – a man wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, glasses and a beard – leaves the consulate building for Riyadh with another person on a scheduled flight later that day.
CCTV images showed a a private jet alleged to have been used by a group of Saudi men suspected of being involved in Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death
October 3: Khashoggi’s fiancee and the Post go public with his disappearance. Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi visited the consulate and exited shortly thereafter. Turkish officials suggest Khashoggi might still be in the consulate. Prince Mohammed tells Bloomberg: ‘We have nothing to hide.’
October 4: Saudi Arabia says on its state-run news agency that the consulate is carrying out ‘follow-up procedures and coordination with the Turkish local authorities to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building.’
October 5: The Post prints a blank column in its newspaper in solidarity with Khashoggi, headlined: ‘A missing voice.’
October 6: The Post, citing anonymous Turkish officials, reports Khashoggi may have been killed in the consulate in a ‘preplanned murder’ by a Saudi team.
October 7: A friend of Khashoggi tells the AP that officials told him the writer was killed at the consulate. The consulate rejects what it calls ‘baseless allegations.’
October 8: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Turkey is summoned over Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged killing.
October 9: Turkey says it will search the Saudi Consulate as a picture of Khashoggi walking into the diplomatic post surfaces.
October 10: Surveillance footage is leaked of Khashoggi and the alleged Saudi squad that killed him. Khashoggi’s fiancee asks President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump for help.
October 11: Turkish media describes Saudi squad as including royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert. Trump calls Khashoggi’s disappearance a ‘bad situation’ and promises to get to the bottom of it.
October 12: Trump again pledges to find out what happened to Khashoggi.
October 13: A pro-government newspaper reports that Turkish officials have an audio recording of Khashoggi’s alleged killing from his Apple Watch, but details in the report come into question.
October 14: Trump says that ‘we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment’ if Saudi Arabia is involved. The kingdom responds with a blistering attack against those who threaten it, as the manager of a Saudi-owned satellite news channel suggests the country could retaliate through its oil exports. The Saudi stock exchange plunges as much as 7 percent at one point.
Khashoggi (pictured), went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul
October 15: A Turkish forensics team enters and searches the Saudi Consulate, an extraordinary development as such diplomatic posts are considered sovereign soil. Trump suggests after a call with Saudi King Salman that ‘rogue killers’ could be responsible for Khashoggi’s alleged slaying. Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to the Mideast over the case. Meanwhile, business leaders say they won’t attend an economic summit in the kingdom that’s the brainchild of Prince Mohammed.
October 16: A high-level Turkish official tells the AP that ‘certain evidence’ was found in the Saudi Consulate proving Khashoggi was killed there. Pompeo arrives for meetings in Saudi Arabia with King Salman and Prince Mohammed. Meanwhile, Trump compares the case to the appointment of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing, saying: ‘Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent.’
October 17: Pompeo meets with Turkey’s president and foreign minister in the Turkish capital, Ankara. Turkish police search the official residence of Saudi Arabia’s consul general in Istanbul and conduct a second sweep of the consulate.
October 18: A leaked surveillance photograph shows a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage walked into the consulate just before Khashoggi vanished there.
October 20: Saudi Arabia for the first time acknowledges Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, claiming he was slain in a ‘fistfight.’ The claim draws immediate skepticism from the kingdom’s Western allies, particularly in the U.S. Congress.
October 22: A report says a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage made four calls to the royal’s office around the time Khashoggi was killed. Police search a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate parked at an underground garage in Istanbul.
CCTV emerges showing a Saudi intelligence officer dressed in a fake beard and Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes and glasses on the day he went missing.
October 23: Erdogan says Saudi officials murdered Khashoggi after plotting his death for days, demanding that Saudi Arabia reveal the identities of all involved.
October 25: Changing their story again, Saudi prosecutors say Khashoggi’s killing was a premeditated crime.
November 2: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government. Earlier the same day, Yasin Aktay, a ruling party adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he believed the body had to have been dissolved in acid.
November 4: Khashoggi’s sons Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi issue appeal for his remains to be returned so that he may be buried in Saudi Arabia.
November 10: President Erdogan says Turkey gave the audio recordings linked to the murder to ‘Saudi Arabia, to Washington, to the Germans, to the French, to the British’.
November 13: Turkish media reports that the luggage carried by the Saudi ‘hit squad’ included scissors, defibrillators and syringes that may have been used against Khashoggi.
November 15: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announces that he is seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder. Shalaan al-Shalaan said the person who had ordered the killing was the head of the negotiating team sent to repatriate him, and exonerated Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. On the same day, the U.S. Treasury announces sanctions against 17 Saudi officials, including the Consul General in Turkey, Mohammed Alotaibi.
November 16: A CIA assessment reported in the Washington Post finds that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination.
November 18: Germany bans 18 Saudi nationals believed to be connected to the murder from entering Europe’s border-free Schengen zone. Berlin also announces it has as halted previously approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid the fallout.
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