READ: Donald Trump Tweets ‘Oil Prices Getting Lower…Thank You to Saudi Arabia, but Let’s Go Lower!’


President Donald Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for lower oil prices in a tweet earlier today.

“$54, was just $82,” the president wrote. “Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!”

The president was immediately criticized for his statements. His words, for many, served as an example of his unwavering support for Saudi Arabia amid outrage over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in ordering the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Others pointed out that the president’s claim about oil prices is, in fact, misleading.

Saudi Arabia had initially denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance but claimed via state media last month that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, had been strangled in a fistfight with 15 men sent to confront him at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The kingdom blamed some of the crown prince’s inner circle for the murder, and several high-ranking officials were dismissed if not detained outright.

The intelligence community has concluded that Crown Prince bin Salman ordered Khoshoggi’s murder. Last month, sources familiar with Khashoggi’s case told CNN that Khashoggi’s murder “was organized by a high-ranking officer with the General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence service.”

The report continues:

One of those sources described the officer as close to the inner circle of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is unclear whether the crown prince authorized an interrogation, abduction or killing. Several officials CNN spoke with said the mission could not have happened without the direct knowledge of the 33-year-old crown prince, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, who is known by his initials “MBS.”

A second source said the officer assembled and sent his own team to interrogate Khashoggi. They suspected Khashoggi of having ties to the kingdom’s arch rival, Qatar, the source said. There has been no evidence to substantiate Khashoggi had such ties.

Another source told CNN the mission’s organizer was not transparent about what he told Riyadh, which, the source said, explained why the government had no clear information for days.

A Turkish official told the network that Khashoggi’s body was cut into pieces after he was killed.

Yesterday, however, the president, in a 649-word-statement, there was “nothing definitive” linking the Crown Prince to the murder.

“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!” the president said. “That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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