Posts tagged with "Mar-a-Lago"

Trump parries with press on CIA report that MBS ordered Khashoggi murder

November 26, 2018

On Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump took time out from thanking himself for doing a wonderful job to say that the CIA did not reach a conclusion about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi—adding during a teleconference with U.S. military troops that Salman “regretted the death more than I do,” Politico reported.

The president previously had declined to listen to Turkey’s tape of the actual murder—or to confirm or deny reports that the CIA had concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.

When asked who should be blamed instead, Trump said on the conference call from his residence and private club Mar-a-Lago, “maybe the world” because it’s a “vicious, vicious place,” and referenced oil prices as a reason not to punish Saudi Arabia further, according to pool reports.

Asked by a reporter if the CIA had a recording implicating Salman, Politico noted that the president responded: “I don’t want to talk about it. You’ll have to ask them.”

Later, he answered a question on the crown prince’s possible involvement by saying: “Whether he did or whether he didn’t, he denies it vehemently. His father denies, the king, vehemently. The CIA doesn’t say they did it. They do point out certain things, and in pointing out those things, you can conclude that maybe he did or maybe he didn’t.”

Comments from both the press and the public were, on the whole, critical of Trump’s refusal to denounce the Saudis during the holiday and the preceding week.

“He’s actually publicly lying about whether or not the US government and its intelligence agencies have concluded … that Khashoggi was murdered and by whom, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow tweeted on 1 p.m. on November 23.

According to a November 23 report by The Hill, Turkey’s top ranking diplomat scorched President Trump on Friday, accusing him of turning a ‘blind eye’ to the killing of Washington Post journalist and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi.

“Trump’s statements amount to him saying ‘I’ll turn a blind eye no matter what,'” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said in an interview.

“Money isn’t everything. We must not move away from human values,” Çavuşoğlu added.

David Axelrod, director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, tweeted, “For all his bravado @real Donald Trump has proven himself pathetically weak in the eyes of the world, heeling like a Chihuahua on the end of a gilded Saudi leash,” at 8:42 a.m. on November 22.

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, commented, “The president’s failure to hold Saudi Arabia responsible in any meaningful way for the death of Jamal Khashoggi is just one more example of this White Houe’s retreat from American leadership on issues like human rights and protecting the free press.”

Finally, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tweeted, “ … [It] is not in our national security interests to look the other way when it comes to the brutal murder of Mr. Jamal #Khashoggi.”

A poll conducted at the end of October by Axios/SurveyMonkey found that most Americans think President Trump hasn’t been tough enough on Saudi Arabia in response to the  Khashoggi by Saudi agents—with just one-third saying his response had been “about right” and only 5% thinking he had been too tough.

Research contact: @LilyStephens13

Melania Trump ditches Davos meeting

January 25, 2018

Just as President John F. Kennedy quipped, ”I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris,” during the couple’s trip abroad in 1961, current President Donald Trump might have commented about FLOTUS Melania Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. However, the First Lady—who is more popular than her husband, according to findings of a poll released on January 20 by CNN—will not be at the conference, her office says, because of “a last-minute change of plans.”

Melania Trump enjoys a 47% favorable rating, while the POTUS’s approval number stands at 40%, according to the CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Although her office offered her regrets, the First Lady has kept an extremely low profile this month, since news surfaced that her husband’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made a $130,000 payment to ensure the silence of adult actor Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 electionwho nonetheless took the opportunity to talk about several hook-ups with Trump.

According to a story by the UK’s Independent newspaper, “After the story broke, [Melania Trump] accompanied the president to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in [Palm Beach] Florida, but she did not attend two dinners he hosted—one [for] former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and and another with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.”

On  January 20, the first anniversary of her husband’s inauguration, she shared an image of herself with a military escort before the swearing-in ceremony. The FLOTUS said the past year had been filled with “many wonderful moments” but did not mention President Trump.

Research contact: @KateBennett_DC