No wonder he was smiling. The United States received $100 million from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, which coincidentally, so weird!, was the same day Secty. of State Mike Pompeo landed in Riyadh to laugh and smile with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman about missing Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The money arrived, but not the truth about Khashoggi.
The Saudis provided no facts to Pompeo, who says he asked them for none.
We now know from audio tapes published today that Khashoggi was tortured, dismembered, and beheaded inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, presumably at the Saudi government's orders. The Saudis have denied everything.
We don't know what Trump's personal conflicts of interest are in this story, either. But what's a little journalist vivisection among amoral allies?
From John Hudson at the Washington Post:
The United States received a payment of $100 million from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh to discuss the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a State Department official confirmed Wednesday amid global calls for answers in the case.
Saudi Arabia publicly pledged the payment to support U.S. stabilization efforts in northeastern Syria in August, but questions persisted about when and if Saudi officials would come through with the money.
The timing of the transfer, first reported by the New York Times, raised questions about a potential payoff as Riyadh seeks to manage the blowback over allegations that Saudi agents were responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance. The State Department denied any connection between the payment and Pompeo's discussions with Saudi officials about Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist.
"We always expected the contribution to be finalized in the fall time frame," Brett McGurk, the State Department's envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, said in a statement. "The specific transfer of funds has been long in process and has nothing to do with other events or the secretary's visit."
PHOTO: RFE/RL, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) meets with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin SALMAN.