Donald Trump’s financial interests with Saudi Arabia will compel the US president to exonerate Riyadh for its atrocities in Yemen and the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an investigative journalist in Washington says.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that Washington will hold accountable all those involved in the killing of Khashoggi.
“The secretary emphasized that the United States will hold all of those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable, and that Saudi Arabia must do the same,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Sunday.
Despite the remarks, Pompeo and Trump have both emphasized America’s important commercial, strategic and national security relationships with the world's largest oil exporter and second largest arms importer.
“No one should really believe Secretary of State Pompeo when he says he’s going to hold the Saudis accountable,” said Wayne Madsen, an author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.
“We know Donald Trump has financial relations with the Saudis,” Madsen said during a phone interview with Press TV on Monday.
“The problem is that Saudis have a huge lobbying operation in Washington; they have senators and members of the House in their pockets, as well as people in the [Trump] administration,” he added.
The killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and the Saudi war against Yemen, which has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine, are two of the main sources of strain in the decades-old alliance between Washington and Riyadh.
Bin Salman, also known as MBS, has played a direct role in overseeing the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Yemen and has also been accused of orchestrating the murder of Khashoggi on October 2.
Riyadh is under immense international pressure to explain why Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate. The regime first denied that it had anything to do with the journalist’s disappearance but eventually admitted his murder and promised to punish the perpetrators.
There is also an ongoing international outcry over Saudi actions in Yemen, particularly after a string of Saudi-led strikes that have killed scores of civilians, many of them children.
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