On CNN’s Sunday broadcast of “Reliable Sources,” host Brian Stelter and Washington Post editorial editor Fred Hiatt used a segment about disappeared Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to baselessly speculate that President Trump’s harsh criticism of mainstream Americans news outlets could have had a part in inspiring Khashoggi’s murder.
Although they still had no direct evidence that Khashoggi had even been killed at that point, let alone any information about why the Saudi government would murder him, Stelter felt the urge to suggest that Trump, along with “other world leaders,” might be responsible for motivating Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment. . .:
HIATT: I think, even for people who wanted to give MBS [Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman] the benefit of the doubt, this has to be a watershed moment. This is, if the reports are true, a crime of an entirely different caliber, and it should not be possible for anybody to go back to business as usual.
STELTER: To lure someone to a consulate, to dismember a body and take it back to Saudi — it is a crime of a different caliber. I wonder if you look at what’s happened in the last twelve days and you wonder if “enemy of the people” rhetoric — not just from President Trump, but also then from other world leaders — has anything to do with this, anything at all?
Although he seemed a bit hesitant to fully agree with Stelter’s premise at first, Hiatt did ultimately concur that Trump’s “enemy of the people”-type statements about American journalists were “part of the big picture” surrounding Khashoggi’s presumed murder. After stressing that his killers should be the “focus” of any condemnation or investigation, Hiatt also argued that Trump’s lack of liberal international moralizing about “democratic values” had opened up the possibility of murdering journalists. (Read more from “CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ Speculates Trump Inspired Murder of Saudi Journalist” HERE)