Following success in returning pastor Andrew Brunson to American soil after being detained in Turkey for two years, President Donald Trump is determined to find justice for Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared in a Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 2.
Khashoggi was considered close to the Saudi royal family, but has recently criticized the current government, including the heir to the throne Saudi prince Muhammad. Much of Khashoggi’s articles for the Post included criticizing Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen, its diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of feminist activists for protesting.
President Trump has amped up pressure on the Saudis, who are refusing to talk, for answers.
On CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday, the president promised that the United States would investigate the matter. “There’s something really terrible and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we’re going to have to see,” President Trump said. “We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment… As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes.”
Following this interview, the Saudi stock market plummeted. It fell 7 percent on Sunday alone amid the mere fear of sanctions. The losses in the one day backtracked all of the markets’ gain in 2018 even though it is still 8 percent higher than where it was one year ago.
The Saudis responded strongly on Sunday, with Turki Aldakhil, general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel writing an op-ed warning the United States not to impose sanctions on the company or else the United States would “stab its own economy to death.”
In the meantime, even without the sanctions, the Saudi economy has felt the consequences and the US economy has barely felt a dent. President Trump wants answers, and answers he will get.