Audio of Khashoggi killing not useful ‘unless you speak Arabic’: Trump’s security adviser
In a White House press conference Tuesday afternoon, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton brushed off audio of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, wondering aloud what the media thought he could learn from the tape.
“No, I haven’t listened to it. I guess I should ask you why you think I should. What do you think I’d learn from it?” Bolton asked.
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He then added that it wouldn’t be useful to listen to the recordings of the former Washington Post journalist’s killing because he doesn’t speak Arabic.
“Unless you speak Arabic, what are you going to get from it?” he said, “I don’t speak Arabic.”
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Bolton was responding to a question about whether CIA director Gina Haspel was being blocked from sharing the findings of the department’s investigation into Khashoggi’s killing with the Senate. The question seemed to be following media reports that the White House would not allow Haspel or other intelligence officials to brief the Senate about the CIA’s investigation into the journalist’s death.
Bolton also suggested that he stands behind U.S. President Donald Trump’s sustained support of Saudi Arabia, despite the global backlash that’s ensued after details of Khashoggi’s death came to light.
Both Trump and Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be attending the G20 summit later this week. A recent CIA investigation found that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder. However, Trump disputed this claim last week, saying: “Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place. The world is a very, very vicious place.”
Last week, the president issued a statement citing the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a “great ally” of the United States. Trump has not wavered in this conviction since news of the Khashoggi killing first surfaced a few months back.
“It’s a terrible thing. I dislike it more than you do,” Trump said last week. “But the fact is … they create tremendous wealth, really tremendous jobs in their purchases and very importantly, they keep the oil price down.”
—With files from the Associated Press
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