A long-awaited CIA report has confirmed what we all knew, but which Donald Trump tried to cover up: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
From The New York Times:
The four-page report contained few previously undisclosed major facts. It reiterated the C.I.A.’s conclusion from the fall of 2018 that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and legal permanent resident of Virginia who was critical of the Saudi government. The report was written a year ago after Congress, which had been briefed on the underlying findings, passed a law mandating intelligence agencies’ conclusions be declassified and released.
The Times also notes that MBS-loving Trump refused to declassify and release the report. He also pretended it was not known whether or not MBS had knowledge of the murder. But Bob Woodward’s book reveals that Trump bragged about covering up the murder, saying about the prince, “I saved his ass” and "I was able to get Congress to leave him alone.”
So kudos to the Biden administration for following the law. But President Biden has responded to the confirmation that MBS is a cold-blooded murderer by essentially giving him a pass. The Times’ David Sanger reported that Biden’s national security team concluded that MBS was simply too important to American interests to punish with criminal charges or even to ban him from entering the U.S.
MBS will not be invited to the U.S. anytime soon, Sanger was told by Biden aides who are also imposing a series of new penalties on lower-level officials. “But in the end, Mr. Biden came to essentially the same place on punishing the young and impetuous crown prince as did Mr. Trump and the Secretary of State at the time, Mike Pompeo,” Sanger wrote.
On MSNBC's Deadline: White House, Nicolle Wallace and her guests discussed the difficult choices Biden faces between pushing back on such horrendous behavior and maintaining good relations with what is considered an important U.S. ally.