Republican Sen. Roy Blunt attacked former Obama national security adviser Ben Rhodes for his tweet saying there's a real possibility that Trump knew Mohammad bin Salman was responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and lied about it.
November 18, 2018

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt made an appearance on ABC's This Week and was asked by host Martha Raddatz whether or not it was possible that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, could possibly not have known about the torture and murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Blunt said he could not talk about a recent briefing he received, but said he could not imagine something like this could have happened without MbS knowing.

When Raddatz said there wasn't yet a "smoking gun," but that there's certainly "a lot of evidence piling up," Blunt told her that "a smoking gun would certainly help" but claimed they don't have all the information they need yet to make that assertion.

When asked whether or not Trump may have received information from our own intelligence agencies proving bin Salman's role in the killing, and then covered it up, Blunt proceeded to attack former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes for stating the obvious on Twitter, given the fact that it appears Trump is doing his best to placate Turkey over the killing of Khashoggi.

Raddatz did not ask Blunt why we should believe Trump,0 given the recent news that the White House was looking at ways to expel Erdogan foe, Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.

RADDATZ: So if the president comes out on Tuesday, you know what you know and he says we can’t prove anything. What would your reaction be?

BLUNT: Well, I do know what I know and let’s see what the president says on Tuesday. I think the high confidence doesn’t mean that you actually have what you need, if that’s the term that the CIA is using. I’m not talking about what we heard this week but just what we all could read…

RADDATZ: In the public domain, yes.

BLUNT: … In the paper this morning. That is – if that is accurate, it means that we don’t quite have all the information we’d like to have yet. It would be nice – if we’re going to deal with this relationship which does really impact the balance of power in the Middle East, it does really impact how we’d – who – the balance to Iran, which is clearly a bad actor. We need to be absolutely sure we know exactly what we’re talking about and not what the first step is but also what the second and third step that that first step would lead you to, really determines.

RADDATZ: There’s been some question about what the president knew and when on the crown prince’s role in Khashoggi’s death. But take a look at this tweet from President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes. "We are faced with the real possibility that Trump has had info from his own intel community that MBS," Mohammad Bin Salman, "was responsible for murdering a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post, and lied about it. I tried to help – and tried to help MBS get past it. Must be investigated."

Do you think he knew something before in that Khashoggi should have been warned, or the intelligence community?

BLUNT: Well, I don’t know the specific answer there but I do know that I’m likely to know more about that than Ben Rhodes and I think that’s just pretty wild speculation.

RADDATZ: Are you concerned that the president has ignored the intelligence in order to protect the relationship?


RADDATZ: Not at all?


Look for Blunt and the rest of the complicit Republicans to turn their head if Trump does turn Gulen over to the Turks.

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