Since it first publicly commented on the matter of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and never coming out, the Trump administration has made one thing clear: it has no plans whatsoever to let a U.S. resident’s murder and dismemberment get in the way of its friendship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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Making his disregard for Khashoggi’s death even more obvious, the president added, “This took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge Khashoggi is not a U.S. citizen . . . He’s a permanent resident, O.K.”
but even after the government admitted he’d been killed by officials in a pre-meditated fashion, the president and his son-in-law—who reportedly argued internally that the prince could survive the outrage—have been loath to punish the country in any real way. In fact, they’re apparently willing to trade a man’s life to get Turkey off of their buddy M.B.S.’s back!
NBC News reports that over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Team Trump has been trying to figure out a way to “placate Turkey” over the Khashoggi killing, and what it’s come up with so far is potentially offering to extradite an enemy of President Recep Erdoğan to Turkey, where he would almost certainly be put to death.
Administration officials have reportedly asked the Justice Department and the F.B.I. to re-examine ways to remove exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, and have requested information from the Department of Homeland Security about Gülen’s legal status in the U.S. A political dissident, Gülen has been living in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s.
The Turkish president claims that the cleric, who was once his ally, is a terrorist and the mastermind behind a failed coup against his government in 2016. So you can see why the guy would rather not be forced to leave the U.S.!
But the Trump administration, hoping to ease pressure on its Saudi pal, has reportedly told Erdoğan that it’s looking into ways to make that happen.
Luckily, there are still some sane people working in the “Deep State” who aren’t down with extraditing a man back to the country where the president presumably wants him dead just because Donald Trump asked them to.
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