The US president needs support to take down Tehran – and he doesn’t appear to be fussy about where it may come from
It would be comforting to think Donald Trump sent his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, hotfooting it to Saudi Arabia this week to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. It would be nice to believe Trump cared that much about a reporter, and a foreign reporter at that, whose sudden disappearance occurred far from America’s shores.
But this is the same Trump who recently condemned independent journalists as “enemies of the people” – a statement Dean Baquet, editor of the New York Times, warned in August had “sent a message to despots abroad that you can disrespect the press”. Did Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, take Trump’s words as a green light?