President Trump praised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday during their meeting at the G20 summit in Japan. Trump told the crown prince, “You have done a spectacular job” and referred to him as, “a friend of mine.”
A reporter asked the president if he brought up the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which occurred inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Trump said, “nobody so far has directly pointed a finger at the future king of Saudi Arabia.”
Trump’s comments contradict the CIA’s conclusion that the crown prince most likely ordered the execution. Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, released a report on the murder last week and said, “It is the conclusion of the special rapporteur that Mr Khashoggi has been the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”
Trump also mentioned the arms deals with Saudi Arabia, “They are ordering equipment, not only military equipment, but $400bn worth and even more than that over a period of time worth of different things.”
Saudi Arabia continues its bombing campaign against Yemen, using U.S. manufactured arms to indiscriminately bomb the country. A report released the by The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project has found Saudi Arabia responsible for over 8,000 civilian deaths, due to direct targeting. Over 90,000 have died in the conflict since 2015 as a direct result of the violence, not including deaths related to malnutrition and preventable diseases such as cholera.