On Tuesday, President Donald Trump reportedly compared the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh with that of the Saudi Arabian government in the suspected killing of Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
“Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”
Earlier this month, Trump defended Kavanaugh despite the sexual assault allegations against him. At his swearing in ceremony, he falsely claimed that the new justice had been “proven innocent.” “[In] our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” Trump said. The president has frequently lamented the treatment of the justice since then. (Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.)
Trump to @AP on Saudi:/Khashoggi: "Here we go again with you know you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned. So we have to find out what happened"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 16, 2018
Just a few hours before his comment on Tuesday linking the two cases, Trump again defended the Saudi Arabian government, tweeting: “Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate.” Khashoggi disappeared into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2. Turkish officials claim he was murdered and dismembered in the consulate.
And on Monday, Trump suggested that “rogue killers” may instead be responsible for the alleged murder. He also dismissed calls to stop $110 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia as punishment for their alleged role in Khashoggi’s disappearance. “What good does that do us?” Trump told reporters. “There are other things we can do.” But he did send Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday, and the two seemed quite comfortable:
Sec. of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi disappeared two weeks ago during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. https://t.co/9UgGOVIfVN pic.twitter.com/YMctuF7h3l
— ABC News (@ABC) October 16, 2018