NYT: WH Will Stand With Crown Prince Despite Khashoggi Killing

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: President Donald Trump meets Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Di... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: President Donald Trump meets Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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The White House has no intention of severing its ties with the Saudi crown prince despite evidence from Turkish officials that kingdom leadership was aware of efforts to at least detain, if not kill, Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, The New York Times reported.

While the State Department publicly claims its still reviewing evidence, the decision to stand with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been made, according to three people familiar with White House discussions who spoke to the Times.

While Trump has been critical of the Saudis for the alleged murder of Khashoggi at its Istanbul Consulate last month, he’s been clear that he had no plans to foil a lucrative U.S.-Saudi arms deal ever since the writer went missing early last month. Trump was the first to suggest publicly that Khashoggi was perhaps killed by “rogue” agents who acted outside Salman’s wishes and he has raised Khashoggi’s status as a permanent resident of the U.S. — not a citizen — multiple times since his disappearance, signaling loyalty to the Saudis.

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