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    Posted: November 18 2018 at 1:42pm
Trump says he declined to listen to recording of 'vicious' Khashoggi killing
By Devan Cole, CNN
Updated 3 hours ago Nov. 19, 2018
Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump said he declined to listen to a recording that captured part of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it "a suffering tape" and "terrible."
In an interview released on Sunday, Trump told Fox News' Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" that he doesn't have any interest in hearing the tape, which contains audio of the killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in early October.
"Have you, one, either heard the tape yourself or been briefed on it, and if so, to your mind what does it show?" Wallace asked Trump.
"We have the tape, I don't want to hear the tape, no reason for me to hear the tape," Trump replied.
"Why don't you want to hear it, sir?"
"Because it's a suffering tape, it's a terrible tape," Trump said. "I've been fully briefed on it, there's no reason for me to hear it, in fact I said to the people 'should I?' They said, 'you really shouldn't, there's no reason.' I know exactly -- I know everything that went on in the tape without having to hear it."
"It was very violent, very vicious and terrible," Trump added.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made similar comments to a Turkish newspaper, calling the tape a "true disaster."
Trump also said that he doesn't know if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was lying when he denied having any involvement in the murder of Khashoggi, a statement that conflicts with the CIA's assessment on Friday that bin Salman personally ordered the killing of the journalist.
"I don't -- I don't know, you know, who could really know?" Trump said. "But I can say this: He's got many people now that say he had no knowledge."
"Do you live with [bin Salman's statement] because you need him?" Wallace asked.
"Well, will anybody really know?" answered Trump. "All right, will anybody really know? But he did have certainly people that were reasonably close to him and close to him that were probably involved," Trump said.
"You saw we put on very heavy sanctions, massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia," Trump continued. "But at the same time, we do have an ally, and I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good."
TM & © 2018 Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
A WarnerMedia Company.
All Rights Reserved.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2018 at 1:43pm
On Khashoggi, the Trump approach appears to be 'ignorance is bliss'
By Samantha Vinograd
Updated Nov. 19, 2018
Editor's Note: Samantha Vinograd is a CNN National Security Analyst. She served on President Obama's National Security Council from 2009-2013 and at the Treasury Department under President Bush. Follow her @sam_vinograd. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion articles on CNN.
(CNN) - Every week, I offer a glimpse of the kind of intelligence assessments that are likely to come across the desk of the President of the United States. Modeled on the President's Daily Briefing, or PDB, which the director of national intelligence prepares for the President almost daily, my Presidential Weekly Briefing focuses on the topics and issues President Trump needs to know to make informed decisions.
Here's this week's briefing:
Khashoggi: Giving foreign leaders license to kill
Your response to the news that the CIA concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered Jamal Khashoggi's assassination makes it appear that you think your ignorance is bliss. And your statement on Sunday that you don't want to hear the tape of Khashoggi's murder only reinforces that idea. The longer you can claim ignorance about what really happened, the longer you can delay making tough decisions on whether to hold the real perpetrators of the murder accountable.
Your statements that it's too early for a final report may be assessed as misinformation. In the first instance, it's been nearly two months since Khashoggi's murder, and intelligence agencies across Turkey and the United States have had a good deal of time to assess the facts and evidence before them.
And, second, even if a final report isn't ready, an assessment with moderate or high confidence could provide the intelligence you need to make more decisions on a policy response. In fact, it already has -- you decided to sanction 17 Saudis, even without a "final" report.
Your continued public focus on Saudi Arabia's contribution to the US economy and the fact that they "give us a lot of jobs" signals that you care more about economics than human rights, and may give MBS a free pass for any role he may have played in the killing. This could greenlight similar operations down the road, because high-ranking officials -- especially those who do significant business with the United States -- won't think you'll actually punish them. You will be giving foreign leaders license to kill.
We also assess that the decision to sanction 17 individuals linked to the murder last week was viewed by many as a decision not to sanction MBS. Focusing on some of his henchmen, the sanctions were likely considered a get-out-of-jail-free card for MBS. However, we assess that because of the way that MBS governs, his minions would not logically undertake such a high-stakes assassination without him at least condoning the operation.
Israel: Less peace in the Middle East
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition is likely crumbling. Netanyahu's political jockeying and the potential for snap elections make a peace deal even less likely in the near term. Should he survive this current crisis -- and make it through the end of his fourth term -- he'll probably try to look tougher on the Palestinians in order to safeguard his political future.
Netanyahu is facing calls to hold early elections -- including from his finance and interior ministers. He needs 61 seats in Parliament to keep his coalition's majority, and after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned on Wednesday, withdrawing his party from Netanyahu's governing coalition, he is close to losing the majority he needs to stay in power.
Lieberman resigned over opposition to the ceasefire Netanyahu signed with Hamas, calling it "surrendering to terror." He's openly called for a stronger military response to Hamas, even if it sparks wider conflict. Several others -- including the ministers of environmental protection and justice -- also opposed the ceasefire.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, from the right-wing Jewish Home Party (the third largest party in Netanyahu's governing coalition), is demanding an appointment as the new Minister of Defense. If his wish is not granted, he could resign and topple the governing coalition because it won't have enough seats in Parliament to qualify as the majority coalition.
While Israeli security forces prepare for violent protests along Gaza's border with Israel, and possibly more rockets launched into Israel from Gaza, we should expect Netanyahu to play up the security risks of enhanced political uncertainty. He's already warning that toppling his government could lead to the formation of a leftist coalition, citing a similar shift in government in 1992, which led to the Oslo Peace Accords the following year. Netanyahu referred to the agreement -- which was intended to broker Middle East peace -- as the "Oslo disaster," and warned on Sunday that in a "period of security sensitivity, it's wrong to go to elections."
While Israeli media reported earlier this month that your son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is planning to publicly debut in the next two months his plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, our analysis indicates that the political turmoil in Israel makes the prospects for Kushner's plan look even dimmer in the near term. Netanyahu will want to look tough on the Palestinians, which we judge means that he will publicly and privately denounce any prospects for negotiating while he focuses on protecting his own political future.
Pence post-op: Complications abound
With less than two weeks until you see Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting in Argentina, Vice President Mike Pence's recent remarks on trade negotiations between the US and China -- and public unwillingness to espouse any flexibility -- will likely complicate trade negotiations.
They were probably seen as a continuation of your preferred tactic of taking on publicly strong positions as part of the US negotiating strategy. Pence's remarks indicated that you are demanding massive changes to China's political, economic and military activities. His openly confrontational statements -- including his threatening China with a Cold War scenario -- will likely complicate Xi's own approach to your meeting.
While the Chinese know that you like to threaten your negotiating partners with black-and-white scenarios, Xi will not want to be seen as responding to US threats. We assess that, if you really want to make a deal with Xi -- even if it is just to declare a tariff ceasefire -- keeping it quiet on the Western front and minimizing public threats in the run-up to the G-20 would be most helpful. Continued threats, like those issued by the Vice President, will create further negotiating complications.
TM & © 2018 Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
A WarnerMedia Company.
All Rights Reserved.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2018 at 2:08pm
I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Jamal Khashoggi: Trump won't listen to 'terrible' murder recording - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46254571
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2018 at 8:35pm
EU demands Saudi 'clarity' on Khashoggi, Trump wavers over top suspect
https://p.dw.com/p/38Ri1
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