In an attempt to give President Donald Trump cover from the widespread criticism of his kid-glove treatment of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murder by the Saudis, his allies both on Capitol Hill and in media outlets have begun spreading the notion that Khashoggi was sympathetic to terrorist movements.
According to a Thursday Washington Post report, some House Republicans have been quietly swapping articles that take a conspiratorial tack about Khashoggi’s initially-sympathetic stance towards Islamist movements (which he grew out of as he matured) and his work as an embedded journalist with Osama bin Laden (which was a professional relationship).
The smear campaign has spread to the President’s favorite outlets as well.
Fox News host Harris Faulker said Thursday that “Khashoggi was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. I just put it out there because it is in the constellation of things that are being talked about.”
On conservative outlet CR-TV, host Mark Levin said that Khashoggi was a “longtime friend” of terrorists.
Per the Washington Post, some of Trump’s surrogates have also taken up the call.
Donald Trump Jr. shared a tweet in which Khashoggi is described as “tooling around Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden.”
Corey Stewart, the Republican running for Senate in Virginia, reportedly said Thursday that “Khashoggi was not a good guy himself.”