The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


Members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), based on intelligence, have alleged that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, directly ordered a hit squad to kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2. But the Saudi royal family has vehemently denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s killing, and President Donald Trump reaffirmed his alliance with the Saudi government in an official statement released on November 20.

In his statement, the president said, “We may never know all the facts surround the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our fight against Iran. The United States plans to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.”

Saudi Arabia’s position as an oil-producing nation, Trump stressed, makes it a valuable U.S. ally.

“After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil-producing nation in the world,” Trump stated. “They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels—so important for the world.”

Trump exalted Saudi Arabia as an ally in the War on Terror, saying, “Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.”

Trump also described Saudi Arabia as a major investor in the U.S. economy.

“After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year,” Trump said, “the kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States.”

Trump reiterated that MBS and King Salman “deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi”—also noting that the Saudi Royal family considered him “an enemy of the state” and “a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. But my decision is in no way based on that.”

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman was critical of Trump’s comments, posting on Twitter, “Trump justifies the means re his approach re Khashoggi death, revives Muslim Brotherhood smear while saying it’s irrelevant.”

Read the full statement below:

Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jessica Cisneros

It’s a race that has some Democratic voters scratching their heads: a young, progressive primary challenger versus a pro-life, conservative Democrat who received an A-rating from the NRA. The primary race between one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Representative Henry Cuellar, and Jessica Cisneros has become a lightning rod within the Democratic Party.

Cuellar declared victory, but as of Wednesday morning, major media outlets have said the race is too close to call. He is just a couple hundred votes ahead of his Cisneros in Texas' 28th Congressional District primary. When neither candidate won a majority in the March 1 primary, the two highest vote-getters faced each other in Tuesday's run-off election.

Keep reading... Show less

School shooting in Uvalde, Texas

Youtube Screenshot

Fox News responded to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, by interviewing experts who pushed controversial, counterproductive models to reduce gun violence in schools. One of these experts advocated for introducing more weapons into schools through arming teachers and staff, a policy firmly rejected by teachers unions and researchers. Another called for increased active shooter response trainings-- a service his company provides -- which have also been found to be ineffective at preventing casualties.

As news out of Uvalde was still developing, Fox News’ Jesse Watters invited Laura Carno -- the executive director of FASTER Colorado, which advocates for arming school staff -- on his show, where she compared arming teachers and other school personnel to arming pilots. “We all feel really comfortable with the armed pilot program, where some pilots are armed on some flights,” Carno said. “We don't know which ones, and we feel pretty good about that. It's a very similar kind of thing to armed school staff programs.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}