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Trump Compares Saudi Arabia Condemnation to Kavanaugh

Says people are rushing to judgment over Jamal Khashoggi case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 16, 2018 6:17 PM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – President Trump Tuesday criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning of a rush to judgment. In an interview with the AP, Trump compared the situation to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. "I think we have to find out what happened first," he said. "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned." Trump spoke Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Monday with King Salman. He said both deny any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi, who entered their country's consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago and hasn't been seen since.

In Turkey earlier Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told the AP that police investigators searching the Saudi Consulate had found evidence that Khashoggi was killed there. Also Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the king and crown prince in Riyadh and said later the kingdom had made a "serious commitment" to hold senior leaders and officials accountable if implicated in Khashoggi's death. Trump said he hopes the Saudis' own investigation of Khashoggi's disappearance will be concluded in "less than a week." Trump said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's trip to attend a Saudi investment conference is still on, but that it could be canceled by Friday depending on what the investigation finds. (Inside the Saudi consulate, suspicious new paint.)


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