Trump’s toadyism to Saudi Arabia: a new moral low

Richard Wolffe

The Saudis are good customers, Trump says – which evidently outweighs the fact they murdered and carved up a Washington Post journalist

Tue 25 Jun 2019



‘We might not have his tax returns, but we do have Trump’s succinct summary of his motives: take the money, Chuck.’ Photograph: Huseyin Aldemir/Reuters

It’s that time of a presidency when every incumbent pretends to be what he isn’t, or to do what he hasn’t. With a re-election year kicking off, everyone wants to know if the candidate can fill in the gaping holes in his record, to give voters some reason to hope or believe.


In the case of Donald Trump, that means trying to look like something he hasn’t been for the last two and a half years: presidential, sane and worthy of the world’s respect. Just for once.

So there are the TV interviews with networks other than Fox News, including the one with ABC News where he was supposed to look normal but ended up saying he’d accept more Russian dirt in the upcoming election. If only to see if it was any good. Totally presidential.
There was the decisive moment when he turned the jets around as they were about to bomb Iran: an act of leadership that overruled his hawkish aides, as well as his earlier decision to, um, bomb Iran. Totally commander-in-chief.

And then there was the interview with NBC News, where he readily admitted that he puts a higher value on arms deals with Saudi Arabia than on American values like democracy and human rights. Totally making America great again.

Pressed by NBC, Trump made it clear that he couldn’t care less about the bone saw-wielding murderers who dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly on the orders of the Saudi crown prince himself. He also couldn’t care about the UN’s recommendations that the FBI investigate the murder of Khashoggi, who was a US resident and wrote for the Washington Post.

Unable to muster any human feeling, Trump couldn’t muster any rational answers either. “I think it’s been heavily investigated,” Trump said. When asked who had done all that heavy investigating, he blurted out: “By everybody … I’ve seen so many different reports.”



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