The Saudis promised the Trump administration $100 million to help the United States’ efforts in Syria this summer — and in a suspicious turn of events, that money was suddenly deposited in U.S. bank accounts as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Riyadh for what would be a discordantly friendly meeting with Saudi officials about their alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to a Tuesday New York Times report, an unnamed official told the outlet that “the timing of this was no coincidence.”
This new detail surfaces as statements from American and Turkish officials on Khashoggi’s alleged murder stand in stark juxtaposition.
Pompeo has been gentle with the Saudis, issuing anodyne statements after the meeting like “I don’t want to talk about any facts.”
President Donald Trump has been even more forgiving, likening the Saudis to Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh and asserting that they could not be “guilty until proven innocent.” Both Pompeo and Trump seem content to let the Saudis conduct the sole investigation into the alleged slaying.
Turkish officials, on the other hand, have been releasing evidence and brutal recordings of Khashoggi being beaten, drugged, murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.