Trump White House sticks to Saudi Arabia despite terrible murder, international outcry


There is little expectation from Trump's assistants that President Donald Trump and his team will refrain from supporting Mohammed, the de facto leader of the kingdom, rather than a calm acknowledgment by most officials that he had some knowledge of the plot to silence him Jamal Khashoggi, Published a columnist killed in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.

In a sign that the administration and its supporters do not support Muhammad's support, a group of evangelical leaders – some closely linked to Trumbas – met in Riyad this week with the crown prince.

Instead of supporting Prince Mohammed, the US hopes to take advantage of what it regards as a new leverage with Saudi Arabia to end the brutal civil war in Yemen and facilitate regional reaction with Qatar, according to many US and diplomatic officials.

Seeing an opening created by King's new regime, US officials say it is time to move on to long-term goals, including the forced end of the Saudi bombing campaign that caused a humanitarian crisis in neighboring Yemen.

The US is also afraid that regional stability could worsen if Saudi Arabia's royal court sparks a power struggle, a rationale for maintaining Muhammad's support, despite current concerns about lack of experience and impulsive decisions.

A major Trump ally – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – expressed concern this Friday.

"What happened at the consulate in Istanbul was horrible and should be treated properly, but at the same time it is very important for the stability of the world – for the region and for the world – that Saudi Arabia remains stable," Netanyahu told a news conference at the Craiova Group Summit in Bulgaria on Friday morning.

In public comments, Trump officials – including the President, Foreign Minister Mike Pombeo and senior adviser Jared Kushner – have stopped being criticized by the Prince's criticism.

"We are optimistic that we can continue to move forward with many initiatives that have further US interests and prevent Iran from being aggressive, so we will stay focused on it," Kushner said, close ties to Muhammad, he said in an interview with his CNN last month.

Like other officials, Kushner said the US would assess whether Mohammed or other Saudi officials were involved when all the events had come to light.

But their desire for an emergency situation seems to have faded over time.

As Saudi Arabia began to provide a changing explanation of events in the middle of last month, Trump responded with disappointment saying he was not satisfied and that a month was too long for Saudi investigators to get together what happened.

Trump said the consequences of the US will come in a short time and will be serious.

But this week, the administration suggested that it would be several weeks before they were prepared to punish those responsible for the death of Khashoggi.

"It will take us a thousand more weeks before we have enough evidence to actually put those sanctions in place, but I think we can get there," Pompeo said in an interview with a St. Louis radio station Thursday.

CNN's Abby Phillip contributed to this report.