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USA | Trump Defends bin Salman on Khashoggi’s Death: He is my friend


US President Donald Trump said he is “very angry” over the murder last year of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate, but declined to pin responsibility on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman describing him as “my friend.”

Trump, before their meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, called it a “great honor” to be with the crown prince and noted that “Saudi Arabia is a good purchaser of American products.”

Appearing before a breakfast on Friday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at the Imperial Hotel in Osaka, the two ignored at least two questions about Khashoggi’s death.

“Mr. President, will you discuss Jamal Khashoggi?” Trump instead answered a question about his plans to visit the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un.

“Mr. President, will [you] address the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, sir, with the crown prince?” Trump instead answered a question about his plans to discuss the technology company Huawei with President Xi Jinping of China, saying it would be part of their talks on trade.

Trump also did not raise the issue of Khashoggi’s murder in his opening remarks.

Trump proclaimed his admiration for the crown prince, declaring that it was an honor to be in his company.
“It's an honor to be with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, a friend of mine, a man who has really done things in the last five years in terms of opening up Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “And I think especially what you've done for women. I’m seeing what's happening; it's like a revolution in a very positive way.”

Trump continued, “I want to just thank you on behalf of a lot of people, and I want to congratulate you. You've done, really, a spectacular job.”