President Donald Trump had a secret meeting with the Saudi Vice Minister of Defense on Monday. It did not appear on his public schedule, and no readout of the meeting has been published. In fact, the only way reporters knew about the meeting is because the Saudis announced it, as CNN’s Kaitlan Collins noted:
On Trump’s meeting w/ the Saudi vice minister of defense that we only found out about because of the Saudis, @jonkarl says, “It is disturbing to see the government of Saudi Arabia have more transparency than the White House about a meeting with the President in the Oval Office.”
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 7, 2020
Here’s Saudi Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman’s tweet revealing the meeting, which shows Jared Kushner also in attendance:
Upon directives from HRH the Crown Prince, I had the pleasure of meeting with @RealDonaldTrump yesterday to deliver a message from the Crown Prince, and review aspects of our bilateral cooperation, including efforts to confront regional and international challenges. pic.twitter.com/q7uXlgSjx8
— Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان (@kbsalsaud) January 7, 2020
President Trump minutes ago posted a tweet acknowledging the meeting, which was Monday, not Tuesday as his statement might suggest:
Had a very good meeting with @kbsalsaud of Saudi Arabia. We discussed Trade, Military, Oil Prices, Security, and Stability in the Middle East!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2020
White House Correspondents’ Association president Jonathan Karl issued a statement denouncing the lack of transparency:
NEW: @whca president @jonkarl says “it is disturbing to see…Saudi Arabia have more transparency than the White House about a meeting with the President in the Oval Office” after the Saudis (but not WH) release photos/statement on @realDonaldTrump’s meeting meeting w/ @kbsalsaud pic.twitter.com/vqiYDsqcLX
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) January 7, 2020
President Trump has a long history of protecting the Saudi government. He immediately went to bat for them after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman allegedly, as the CIA has stated, had Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered.
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Watch: Pence Attorney Stops Ukraine Witness From Answering Schiff’s Question: VP’s ‘Position’ Is ‘Call Is Classified’
An attorney representing the Office of the Vice President blocked Jennifer Williams, an aide to the Vice President, from answering a simple question, the first one, posed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff during Tuesday morning’s impeachment hearing.
Chairman Schiff asked Williams if there were any relevant facts from a call between Vice President Pence and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Pence’s attorney interjected, saying “the Vice President has taken the position that the September 18 call is classified. As a result, I’d refer the committee to the public record.”
“Given the position of the Vice President’s Office on classification, I’ve advised Ms. Williams not to answer further questions about that call in an unclassified setting.”
— BeeNewsDaily (@BeeNewsDaily) November 19, 2019
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