Trump Friend, Billionaire Tom Barrack Defends Saudi Arabia’s Gruesome Murder Of Journalist, Blames US
UPDATE: Following widespread outrage, Barrack has offered a half-baked apology, notes Bloomberg News: “I apologize for not making it clear at the time that I consider the killing reprehensible.”
Trump friend and billionaire Tom Barrack defended Saudi Arabia over the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Milken Institute MENA Summit in Abu Dhabi, Dubai.
CNN’s Becky Anderson asked Barrack about the reputational damage to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi murder, and Barrack joked: “As long as you don’t make me a guest at the Ritz.”
Barrack went to defend Saudi Arabia, which has a long history of human rights violations, and he attacked the U.S., notes Gulf News:
Whatever happened in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in America are equal, or worse… The atrocities in any … country are dictated by the rule of law. So for us to dictate what we think is the moral code there, when we have a young man and regime that is trying to push themselves into 2030, I think is a mistake.
Barrack accused Western countries of failing to understand Saudi Arabia:
The problem that has happened with the Khashoggi incident is the same problem with the West misunderstanding the east that has existed since Sykes-Picot.
So, the West is confused, it doesn’t understand the rule of law in the kingdom, it doesn’t understand what succession in the kingdom is, it doesn’t understand how there can be a dilemma with a population that has 60 per cent of people under the age of 20.
The corrupt hand of the West has been the primary instigator in the kingdom, and in the resource curse across the region forever.
Talking Points Memo notes Barrack’s devotion to Trump:
Barrack is a longtime friend and confidante of President Trump and played a key role both in his 2016 campaign and the Trump-Russia scandal that grew in its aftermath. It was Barrrack who helped usher Paul Manafort into the campaign in early 2016. Barrack was back in the news last week for his role as chairman of the Trump inaugural committee, which is now the subject of a federal probe.