Tuesday, August 3, 2021

WH Chief of Staff: Khashoggi’s Death Inexcusable, But We Need To Work With His Killer

As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank that Trump had “defended not the slain US resident but his killers”.

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“Among the most shameful moments of [Trump’s] presidency came after the brutal Saudi murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Trump defended not the slain U.S. resident but his killers. America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh.”

Vice President Kamala Harris had also spoken on Khashoggi’s death. In tweet in June 2019, Harris said that:

“Saudi Arabia must be held accountable for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and for its human rights abuses in Yemen. The last thing we should do is sell them billions in weapons. That’s why this week I voted to block the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.”

Early March the Biden Administration declassified a CIA report that accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) of having approved the murder and dismemberment of the Saudi journalist who also was a U.S. legal resident.

NBC’s Mehdi Hasan asked the White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain what wasn’t MBS held accountable by Biden Administration yet?

“Well, so let’s be clear, as you said, we released we finally long overdue release the report that pointed the finger clearly at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) being responsible for that,” responded Klain.

“And we have reset our relationship with Saudi Arabia. We’ve recalibrated that relationship very much. We’ve imposed sanctions on his elite force that conducted this event. We imposed sanctions on high level official in Saudi intelligence,” continued Klain.

“It’s been our government’s long standing policy not to personally sanction heads of state, leaders of government in in countries where we have diplomatic relations, not head of state. We need to work with the Saudis to solve problems like the crisis we have in Yemen. So we have to balance the desperate needs for accountability here, which we have taken important steps on with this horrible, ghastly, awful and inexcusable crime with also, unfortunately, our needs to work with the Saudis on challenges like the problem we have in Yemen right now.”

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