Brow Beat

The Daily Show Says Saudi Arabia Is Making Up Lies About Jamal Khashoggi That Will Work for Trump

On Wednesday a senior Turkish official confirmed the existence of audio revealing that Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and dismembered in a Saudi Arabian consulate. But it’s unclear whether even this development will prompt condemnation of the Saudi Arabian government by president Trump. As Trevor Noah pointed out on The Daily Show Tuesday night, Trump often answers uncomfortable questions by advancing wild, off-the-wall theories. In 2016, Trump suggested that a 400-pound man in a basement might have hacked the election and on Monday, after reports revealed the journalist entering the consulate but never leaving, Trump proposed that the murder could have been perpetrated by “rogue killers.” “How does Trump always find a way to introduce random subjects into the most obvious crimes?” asked Noah.

Originally Trump’s unsubstantiated explanation was in line with the Saudi Arabian government’s denials that they murdered Khashoggi, or that they even knew where the writer was. But on Tuesday, the Saudis tried out a different story: They claimed Khashoggi was captured inside their consulate and was accidentally killed during an interrogation. A flabbergasted Noah wanted to know how the same actors can deny any knowledge of an individual’s whereabouts and then credibly claim a different exculpatory story for exactly where and how he was killed, but Daily Show correspondent Michael Kosta pointed out that, “Countries lie to us all the time.”

Kosta went on to describe how accepting Saudi lies helps advance Trump’s economic agenda: “I mean if we found out that our Middle Eastern bestie murdered a journalist, we might have to stop selling them billions of dollars in arms. But if we both decide to agree that he fell into a volcano inside the consulate, well then bring your punch card, Saudi Arabia, because it’s buy nine missiles get the tenth one free!”