President Donald Trump has personally questioned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “in a couple of different ways” about his knowledge of the killing of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi in recent days and told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he wants to believe him.
“My first question to him was, ‘Did you know anything about it in terms of the initial planning,’ ” Trump told the WSJ Tuesday in the Oval Office, adding that Salman told him he had no knowledge of the scheme. “I said, ‘Where did it start?’ And he said it started at lower levels. … I want to believe them. I really want to believe them.”
Trump said that while he’s convinced Saudi King Salman was not involved in the murder, which Turkish officials have called “savage,” he’s not so confident that the prince was not apprised to the plan.
“Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him,” Trump told WSJ
Trump took a sharper stance while speaking to military leaders during a dinner later Tuesday.
“They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups,” Trump said, according to The Hill. “Very simple. Bad deal, should have never been thought of. Somebody really messed up.”