Tags: Donald Trump | Media Bias | Middle East | Trump Administration | jamal khashoggi | crown prince | saudi arabia

GOP Spreading Misinformation on Khashoggi to Protect Trump

jamal khashoggi speaks during a press conference in 2015.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, in 2015. (Hasan Jamali/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:37 PM

Right-wing media commentators, GOP candidates, and a "cadre" of Republican House members have spread misinformation about the Saudi journalist who was reportedly tortured and murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in an attempt to protect President Donald Trump from criticism on his handling of the situation, per The Washington Post.

A group of House Republicans has exchanged articles from right-wing outlets touting Khashoggi's association with the Muslim Brotherhood during his youth as well as his fruitful relationship with Osama bin Laden – both unconfirmed conspiracy theories.

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner on Thursday said "Khashoggi was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood" during her "Outnumbered" show.

Corey A. Stewart, the Republican running against Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., earlier in the day told a local radio program Khashoggi "was not a good guy himself."

One of the claims – Khashoggi was sympathetic toward Islamic terrorism – was published in far-right FrontPage magazine. The outlet labeled Khashoggi a "cynical and manipulative apologist for Islamic terrorism."

William Kristol, a conservative Trump critic, told the Post that Trump's supporters "are finding excuses" for the president to take a soft line because that is what he wants. 

"One of those excuses is attacking the person who was murdered," Kristol said. 

Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who often criticized the Saudi Arabian government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his writings, disappeared Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to file paperwork for his upcoming wedding. Turkish officials say the Saudis did it, but Trump has been reluctant to blame Mohammed. 

Fred Hiatt, The Washington Post's editorial page editor who published Khashoggi's work, rebuked the smear campaign.

"It may not be surprising that some Saudi-inspired trolls are now trying to distract us from the crime by smearing Jamal," Hiatt said in a statement. "It may not even be surprising to see a few Americans joining in. But in both cases it is reprehensible."

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The Washington Post, rejecting smears against journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reports Republicans are spreading misinformation about the Saudi journalist to protect President Donald Trump.
jamal khashoggi, crown prince, saudi arabia, republicans, smear campaign
Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:37 PM
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