Trump values cheap oil more than human life.
Trump is willing to shield Saudi Arabia from any sort of punishment for murdering U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi because he likes having cheap oil.
In a bizarre White House statement, Trump all but absolves Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of any wrongdoing around Khashoggi's murder.
A recent Washington Post report shows the CIA had concluded in a high-confidence assessment that the crown prince personally ordered the Khashoggi's murder.
In the White House statement, Trump blithely says, "maybe he did and maybe he didn't!"
To further muddy the water, Trump parrots the Saudi talking point that Khashoggi, who worked for the Washington Post, was labeled an "enemy of the people" by Saudi Arabia.
While the country brutally murdered and dismembered a U.S. journalist, Trump is willing to turn a blind eye because Saudi Arabia has "worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels."
The price of committing murder is apparently keeping oil prices below $60 per barrel.
Trump's shilling for an allegedly murderous prince is appalling, but sadly not surprising.
After the murder, which took place in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Turkey, Trump rushed to defend Saudi Arabia from accusations. In fact, he compared the situation to accused attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court.
Defending murder is not a big leap from defending attempted rape, and Trump is showing the world that he will do both.
Trump isn't acting alone, either. According to recent news reports, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is working with Saudi Arabia to help cover up the murder, working with the regime on damage control measures.
One of Trump's first acts after being sworn in was an attempt to ban Muslims from the United States. In the years since then, Trump has repeatedly called the free press "the enemy of the people."
Now that a Muslim U.S. journalist has been brutally murdered, Trump is helping to cover it up, just as long as the country can maintain access to cheap oil.
The oil may be cheap. But for Trump, so is human life.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.