Trump let the Saudis get away with murder — literally. Any evangelicals who ever swallowed the “baby Christian” crap in 2016 must now admit that Trump is the worst baby Christian since Paul’s brilliant marketing campaign saved a dying religion at the end of the first century. In 2016, 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump; 19 percent did not. The 19 percent were not manipulated by the epic hypocritical campaign of evangelical leaders. It’s like the authoritarian Christian patriarch who goes to Bible college and learns to preach, only to be ridiculed behind his back by family who clearly see the colossal hypocrisy — the guy does not live Christian values at home, and the household is miserable. Nineteen percent of the American white evangelical family was not fooled. But they — like the rest of us — remain miserable under Trump.
(scroll down for article — and Bonus Tracks)
— RECENT HEADLINES –
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“Trump Admin. Seeks to Give Turkey Its Wanted Cleric Living in PA, to Get Turkey to Lay off Accusations That Saudi Leader MBS Ordered Killing of Critical Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Expat, U.S. Resident; Trump Reportedly Told Intel. Community to ‘find reasons’ for Giving Up Turkish Cleric” (11/15/2018)
“Trump Announces Completion of Written Answers to Special Counsel Mueller’s Questions, Emphasizes He Had No Help From Lawyers: ‘I wrote them myself; they were easy’” (11/16/2018)
“Trump’s Appointment of Acting AG Matt Whitaker Continues to Reveal Conflicts” (11/16/2018)
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“CIA Concludes w/ High Certainty: Saudi Leader MBS Ordered Khashoggi Assassination” (11/16/2018)
“George Conway, Spouse of Kellyanne, Calls Trump Admin. ‘sh** show in a dumpster fire’” (11/16/2018)
“Nancy Pelosi, House Dem. Leader, Continues to Face Opposition to Her as Speaker” (11/17/2018)
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“Generic House Vote Approaches 8% Win for Dems.; Several Races Still Outstanding; White Christian Evangelicals Came Back to Their Senses, No Longer Swayed by Leaders’ Hypocrisy” (11/20/2018)
“Trump Recalling Troops From S. Border, Long Before Caravan Arrives; Stunt Confirmed” (11/20/2018)
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“Trump Disses ‘Obama’ Judge; Chief Justice John Roberts, in Extremely Rare Public Statement, Defends Judicial Integrity Declaring: No ‘Obama’ or ‘Bush’ Judges, Just Independent Judiciary” (11/21/2018)
“Late Results Have Produced All-Time Record for Generic House Vote Win Margin for Either Party: Democrats Win in 2018 by 8,910,027 Votes, 8.0 percentage Points” (11/21/2018)
“In Thanksgiving Statement, Trump Denies That CIA Finds That Saudi Leader MBS Ordered Khashoggi Assassination, Claims MBS ‘hates Khashoggi murder more than I do’” (11/22/2018)
“This is as cold-blooded a statement as I can ever remember being issued by a president. … It began by saying ‘America First’ with an exclamation point, and the subtext for me throughout was values last. … [Referring to Saudi Leader Prince Mohammad bin Salman likely ordering the grizzly assassination of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi,] Trump said, ‘Maybe he knew, and maybe he didn’t.’ But the implication was Trump didn’t really care.”
(Ignatius, David, The Washington Post associate editor and columnist, Jamal Khashoggi co-worker and friend; MSNBC’s Morning Joe; 11/21/2018.)
On Oct. 2, 2018, Jamal Khashoggi, an expat citizen of Saudi Arabia but resident of the United States, entered the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, to pick up papers necessary for him to marry his Turkish fiancé. Khashoggi was a journalist at The Washington Post, living in America and submitting reports critical of his home country. He had moved to the U.S. in the summer of 2017 after feeling threatened by the Saudi government over his opinion pieces criticizing Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s attempts to consolidate power. The royal family also had barred him from writing after he questioned the actions of President Trump.
Immediately upon entering the consulate, Mr. Khashoggi was confronted by a 15-man Saudi hit squad, clandestinely flown in from the homeland, including an autopsy physician equipped with a bone saw. The physician and half the other team members have or had close ties to the royal family. They strangled and dismembered Jamal Khashoggi. His fiancé waited outside the building for 11 hours.
Since then, President Trump has been in a quandary: Does he hold the royal family accountable? Or does he let them off the hook? His administration has put all of its Middle East policy chips on strengthening the Saudi alliance. Thirty-seven-year-old Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner famously has nurtured a personal relationship with the current Saudi leader, 33-year-old Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
And there’s the money angle: 1) we buy oil from Saudi Arabia; 2) they buy lots of military hardware (and other stuff) from the U.S.; and 3) Donald profits heavily, personally, from his business dealings with the Saudis going back decades (notwithstanding his mendacious tweets to the contrary). They bailed him out when he was strapped financially. Additionally, Joe Scarborough had an interesting take on this latter point yesterday: Two years from now, after Trump decides not to run again, he’ll be able to sit across from the Saudis during business negotiations and say, “Remember when I had your back with that Khashoggi thing?”
Here’s how it all went down.
Chain of Events
“Top Turkish security officials have concluded that the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the highest levels of the royal court, a senior official said Tuesday. The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose. ‘It is like “Pulp Fiction,” ’ the official said.”
(Kirkpatrick, David D. & Gall, Carlotta; “Turkish Officials Say Khashoggi Was Killed on Order of Saudi Leadership”; The New York Times; 10/9/2018.)
“I know [Congress is] talking about different kinds of sanctions, but [the Saudis are] spending $110 billion on military equipment. … [Sanctioning them] doesn’t help us — not when it comes to jobs and not when it comes to our companies losing out on work. … Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen. Is that right?”
Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Q&A with reporters; 10/11/2018.)
“For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Twitter post; 10/16/2018.)
“Nobody has told me [Saudi leader Mohammad bin Salman] is responsible. Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point. … I would love if he wasn’t responsible.”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; phone interview conducted by The Washington Post; 10/20/2018.)
“The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government’s claims that he was not involved in the killing.”
(Harris, Shane & Miller, Greg & Dawsey, Josh; “CIA Concludes Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s Assassination”; The Washington Post; 11/16/2018.)
“Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! That being said … The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia.”
Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; “Statement From President Donald J. Trump on Standing With Saudi Arabia”; 11/20/2018.)
Still No Trump Bottom
It’s been well-documented that authoritarian leaders around the globe have co-opted Donald’s “fake news” and “the press is the enemy of the people” messages. They are using this theme to justify the suppression of their own press outlets through censorship and intimidation.
Now Trump has given cover to do much more than suppress the press — he has indicated the U.S. will look the other way, past your country’s authoritarian imprisonment or murder of dissidents, if you have enough money and other loot to offer him. Of course, there are many more dictators who have nothing to offer, but they’ll still take the rhetorical cover. The president has demonstrated that his America has its price for overlooking other governments’ wrongdoing. As long as they can meet that price, Donald will not fuss over trivialities like murdered journalists.
And if you help him become president, he’ll even excuse the annexation of a sovereign nation’s territory and the manipulation of an American election.
I’ve highlighted this before: Donald has no bottom. Some thought “grab ‘em by the p***y” and dissing a Mexican-American judge’s heritage was as low as he could go. Then, “there are good people on both sides” set a new nadir. Some gullible people will say he can’t get any worse than allowing Jamal Khashoggi’s murder without a price to pay. They are wrong.
“[Donald Trump has] recently come to accept a relationship with Christ [and is now] a baby Christian.”
(Dobson, James, Dr., Focus on the Family founder, prominent evangelical pastor; interview conducted by Anthony, Michael, Pastor; GodFactor.com; 6/24/2016.)
“I remember when I accepted Christ, it took me two years to begin to understand what God did in me. Two years.”
(Anthony, Michael, Pastor; GodFactor.com; 6/24/2016.)
OK, Donald has had his two years and more. Any evangelicals who ever swallowed the “baby Christian” crap in 2016 must now admit that Trump is the worst baby Christian since Paul’s brilliant marketing campaign saved a dying religion at the end of the first century. (He won the elimination of circumcision as a prerequisite for membership — a big hit with baby Christian men — and launched the all-time best branding campaign in product-marketing history: promoting the then-ubiquitous act of crucifixion as the world symbol of Christianity. Madison Avenue has nothing on Paul.)
In 2016, 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump. The good news is that 19 percent did not. Nineteen percent were not manipulated by the epic hypocritical campaign of evangelical leaders to push their corrupt, amoral candidate. It’s like the authoritarian Christian patriarch who goes to Bible college and learns to preach, only to be ridiculed behind his back by family who clearly see the colossal hypocrisy — the guy does not live Christian values at home, and the household is miserable. Nineteen percent of the American white evangelical family was not fooled by the hypocrisy. But they — like the rest of us — remain miserable under Trump.
“After weeks of hemming and hawing, the White House put out a statement Tuesday from Trump making clear that for the murder of Khashoggi — who lived in Virginia, was a permanent U.S. resident, and had children who are U.S. citizens — the Saudi regime will face no consequences. Zero. Not even a slap on the wrist.”
(Robinson, Eugene; “Trump Is Not a Champion of Human Rights. He Is a Clueless Clown.”; The Washington Post; 11/22/2018.)
“We are with Saudi Arabia. We’re staying with Saudi Arabia.”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Q&A with reporters on White House South Lawn; 11/20/2018.)
Because of President Trump’s actions, people will die around the world. If you compliment the president, and send money and support his way, you can literally get away with murder. The Saudis know this. White evangelical leaders know this. And now the world knows this. ■
Bonus Track #1
To be fair to Donald, I am going to reprise his original statement, in its entirety, finalizing his stance on the relationship with the Saudi Arabian government, now that all the evidence is in on the Khashoggi killing. But with a twist. Annotation has become popular in the Trump era. Outlets such as the Times and the Post will highlight certain statements or documents and provide auxiliary meaning to the contents. Yeah, that’s it. Auxiliary meaning. My auxiliary meaning, speaking as what the president really means, appears in italics below.
Oh. Contrary to Donald’s claims that he personally wrote all the answers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s questions about the Russia investigation — with no help from his lawyers — it is apparent from the superfluous exclamation points and “the best words” that Trump did, in fact, write most of this statement himself.
Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia (11/20/2018)
(I’m trying to give MAGA! a little rest. You know, avoid overkill.)
The world is a very dangerous place!
(And I alone can fix it. This is the beginning of my setup for the bad news you’ve all known was inevitable: I’ll never diss the Saudis as long as their billions keep coming into my coffers. I don’t care what they do.)
The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy (blame W. for that — stupid democracy!), supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens) (never mind that I’m propping up Putin and Russia, who are also propping up Assad.), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force (yes, “with great force”), “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Iran is considered “the world’s leading sponsor of terror.”
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism (which, at least, I’m willing to say the words — Obama, who founded ISIS, would never say “Radical Islamic Terrorism”).
After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year (must have Big Macs, Diet Cokes, no chocolate M&M’s), the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion (debunked fact — don’t tell anyone) in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs (debunked fact — don’t tell anyone), tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. (So what’s one dead reporter in the face of all these Trump Organization profits — I mean … U.S. wealth.) Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries (debunked fact — don’t tell anyone) — and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States! (Exclamation point No. 3.)
The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone (at least not without a decent cover-up). Indeed, we have taken strong action against those (scapegoats) already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research (no, the CIA is not independent — they’ve had directors appointed by Democrats), we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body. (We also now know that MBS directly ordered the murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi. But we’re willing to participate in the sham of the royal family trying and executing scapegoated royal family soldiers — the “real killers.”)
Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that — this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. (See how I reiterated the Saudi line while feigning disagreement with it?: “Some say Khashoggi was an ‘enemy of the state’ — I don’t say that, but some do.” Eugene Robinson, columnist at Amazon’s propaganda machine and enemy of the people, WaPo, called me out on this by defining “paraleipsis” — which is saying something by professing not to say it. But I already knew that: I’ve got words, I’ve got the best words.) King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. (They denied it at least four or five times — in one conversation!) Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! (Exclamation point No. 4.)
That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. (As long as we ignore the CIA, we may never know, which is a good thing.) In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (and their tremendous oil money — I’ve got deals with them going back eons). They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel, and all other partners in the region. (So screw you anti-journalist-murder bleeding hearts. He wasn’t even a U.S. citizen, Right?) It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world! (Exclamation point No. 5.)
I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other (foolishly moral) reasons, would like to go in a different direction — and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America (and acceptable to my base of supporters, and don’t jeopardize my Saudi profits). After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels — so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm (and/or criticize me). Very simply it is called America First! (Exclamation point No. 6.)
### (3 pound signs to end my statement — just like a real press release)
[think musical theme from the 1960s TV cop show “Dragnet” — STERN ANNOUNCER’S VOICE]: “The statement you have just read is real. Only the italicized entries have been added to accentuate the stupidity and amorality.”
Bonus Track #2
Cal Thomas’ Thoughts After Chatting With Donald
On June 30, 2016, Cal reported this:
Following a meeting between a group of evangelical leaders and [candidate] Donald Trump [June 24, 2016] … Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, was interviewed by Pennsylvania pastor Michael Anthony. Dobson told Anthony that Trump had recently come “to accept a relationship with Christ” and is now a “baby Christian.”
Dobson was vague about the details of Trump’s supposed religious conversion, telling Anthony that while he knows the person responsible for “leading” Trump to Jesus, he would not name the person and couldn’t specify the time or place. “I don’t know when it was,” said Dobson, “but it has not been long.”
… Here is a transcript of what Trump told me he believed about Jesus in a June 6[, 2016,] interview I conducted with him:
[CAL THOMAS]: “Every president has called upon God at some point. Lincoln spoke of not being able to hold the office of the presidency without spending time on his knees. You have confessed that you are a Christian …”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “And I have also won much evangelical support.”
[CAL THOMAS]: “Yes, I know that. You have said you never felt the need to ask for God’s forgiveness, and yet repentance for one’s sins is a precondition to salvation. I ask you the question Jesus asked of Peter: Who do you say He is?”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness. As you know, I am Presbyterian and Protestant. I’ve had great relationships and developed even greater relationships with ministers. We have tremendous support from the clergy. I think I will be doing very well during the election with evangelicals and with Christians. In the Middle East — and this is prior to the migration — you had almost no chance of coming into the United States. Christians from Syria, of which there were many, many of their heads … chopped off. If you were a Muslim from Syria, it was one of the easiest places to come in [to the U.S.]. I thought that was deplorable. I’m going to treat my religion, which is Christian, with great respect and care.”
[CAL THOMAS]: “Who do you say Jesus is?”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence. Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.”
No one can fully know what is in another person’s heart, but this is not the language most evangelicals would consider as evidence of a religious conversion.
(Thomas, Cal; “Donald Trump — the ‘Baby Christian’”; FoxNews.com; 6/30/2016.)