Fox News host Shepard Smith on Tuesday shredded President Trump for doubting the CIA’s reported conclusion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman personally ordered the murder of Washinton Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and defending the kingdom as an “ally.”
“President Trump stands with Saudi Arabia,” Smith told viewers, echoing the title of the “Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia” that the White House had released Tuesday afternoon.
“Today the President insulted the murder victim and sided with the Saudis, who said our CIA is wrong. We now know that the Saudi hit squad tortured and killed Jamal inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey,” Smith continued, reading part of what he described as Trump’s “lengthy missive riddled with presidential exclamation points.”
Trump claimed that U.S. intelligence agencies are still assessing all the information on Khashoggi’s case and that “it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event—maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
Trump stated “we may never know” the facts around Khashoggi’s murder and “in any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran,” Trump stated. “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 the president may not have the last say. We’re waiting for the full report from the CIA. But today the president got ahead of his intelligence agencies,” Smith concluded. “In essence, for now, it doesn’t matter what the intel says, we’re standing with the Saudi kingdom.”
Fox News host Sean Hannity defended Trump on Tuesday.
“As evil as this kingdom, the president is right. Saudi Arabia has now emerged at an important point in history as a partner in the Middle East,” Hannity said. “As a country, we have got to make a lot of tough, strategic decisions.”