Trump confidante Tom Barrack apologized Wednesday for his comment that the Saudi Arabian slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is equal to the “atrocities in America.”
“The killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was atrocious and inexcusable,” Barrack wrote in a statement. “I apologize for not making this clear in my comments earlier this week.”
Read the full statement here via CNN’s Jim Sciutto:
Barrack has now issued this statement explaining his comments: pic.twitter.com/6l6mGUxXW4
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) February 13, 2019
Barrack made his original comments during a panel in Abu Dhabi, criticizing Western countries’ high-handedness with dictating a “moral code” for Middle Eastern nations.
“The atrocities in any autocratic country are dictated by the rule of law,” Barrack reportedly said. “So for us to dictate what we think is the moral code there, when we have a young man and regime that is trying to push themselves in to 2030, I think is a mistake.”
Barrack, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, played a large role in his 2016 campaign, bringing into the fold the now-indicted former chairman Paul Manafort. Barrack also served as chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, which is now the subject of a federal probe.