The same solipsism is evident in Trump’s nonchalant reaction to the Saudi murder and dismemberment of Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. Trump dismissed the CIA’s conclusion that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered this crime, writing “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” All that matters to Trump is preserving the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, which he justified with fanciful and fictitious figures – $110 billion in Saudi arms sales and $450 billion in general Saudi investment.
One suspects Trump’s sympathies lie with the Saudis for more personal reasons. The Saudi king and crown prince laid out the red carpet, literally, for Trump on his first trip abroad as president in 2017. They haven’t criticized him. Why should he criticize them? He is tougher on the SEAL commander who was responsible for killing Osama bin Laden than on the Saudi despot who was responsible for killing Jamal Khashoggi — simply because the latter is nicer to him than the former.