Trump pitted against his intelligence community with CIA’s latest on Khashoggi - analysis

A new report that the CIA now has confidence that the Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, will pit the U.S. President against the country’s intelligence yet again as he is determined not to blame bin Salman for the journalist’s death, the Washington Post reported.

The Washington Post on Friday reported the CIA’s finding that bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Khashoggi, which contradicts the Saudi government assertions that crown prince was not involved in the dissident journalist’s death. 

Noting that Trump’s position in the Khashoggi case carries ‘’eerie parallels to the Russia investigation,’’ the article recalled that despite the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the U.S. election and that it favored Trump, he spent most of his presidency publicly casting doubt on the matter.

‘’President Trump has resisted pinning the blame for the killing on Mohammed, who enjoys a close relationship with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Privately, aides said, Trump has been shown evidence of the prince’s involvement but remains skeptical that Mohammed ordered the killing,’’ the Washington Post said.

Similar to the incident with Russia, the article highlighted, Trump’s motivation to disbelieve his own intelligence community is obvious.

For Trump, ‘’the Saudis are an important strategic ally; the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is close to Mohammed; and Trump has long-standing business ties with Saudis. And this week was full of signs that his administration isn’t prepared to hold Mohammed accountable,’’ it noted.

Washington is even considering the extradition of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, accused by Ankara of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt, to ‘’placate’’ Turkey so it may ease pressure on the Saudi government regarding Khashoggi’s death, the Washington Post article noted, citing NBC News.

Just how much Trump cares about the truth that his intelligence community has determined remains to be seen, the article concluded.