Pompeo calls Saudi ties after Khashoggi ‘center finger’ to media


Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in a ebook launched Tuesday staunchly defended Saudi Arabia after the killing of a dissident author, gloating that his diplomatic relationship with the dominion was a “middle finger” to US media.

Pompeo flew to Riyadh days after the October 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi living within the United States who wrote opinion items in The Washington Post criticizing the dominion’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“What really made the media madder than a vegan in a slaughterhouse was our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Pompeo wrote in “Never Give an Inch,” a combative memoir of his time as Donald Trump’s high diplomat.

On Trump dispatching him, Pompeo wrote, “In some ways, I think the president was envious that I was the one who gave the middle finger to The Washington Post, The New York Times and other bed-wetters who didn’t have a grip on reality.”

The CIA, which Pompeo as soon as led, in findings later declassified by President Joe Biden mentioned that Crown Prince Mohammed ordered the killing of Khashoggi, who was lured into the dominion’s consulate in Istanbul the place he was strangled and dismembered.

Pompeo in his ebook didn’t contest Saudi duty, writing, “This grotesque butchery was outrageous, unacceptable, horrific, sad, despicable, evil, brutish and, of course, unlawful.”

“But it wasn’t surprising — not to me, anyway. I’d seen enough of the Middle East to know that this kind of ruthlessness was all too routine in that part of the world,” he mentioned.

He additionally disputed that Khashoggi was a “journalist,” mocking the media of turning him right into a “Saudi Arabian Bob Woodward who was martyred for bravely criticizing the Saudi royal family.”

Pompeo’s remarks introduced speedy condemnation, with Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, saying she was “horrified and upset.”

“He has spoken with no respect and no humanity about a person murdered so brutally,” she wrote on Twitter.

Washington Post writer and CEO Fred Ryan mentioned it was “shocking and disappointing” to see Pompeo “so outrageously misrepresent” Khashoggi.

“Jamal dedicated himself to the values of free speech and a free press and held himself to the highest professional standards. For this devotion, he paid the ultimate price,” Ryan mentioned in an announcement.

Pompeo insisted that Crown Prince Mohammed was a reformist who “will prove to be one of the most important leaders of his time, a truly historic figure on the world stage.”

He mentioned there ought to as a substitute have been extra scrutiny of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who criticized Saudi Arabia over the killing. Pompeo wrote that the Turkish chief “had gone full Islamist-authoritarian.”