On Tuesday night, “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert slammed President Donald Trump for his statement on the murder of “Washington Post” journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In the spirit of the presidential pardon of this year’s turkeys, Peas and Carrots, Colbert told his audience that Trump “might want to pardon” his senior advisor and daughter Ivanka Trump since it was reported that she sent out hundreds of work-related emails on her personal account, something then-candidate Trump blasted Hillary Clinton for during the 2016 election.
“This is really damaging if anything mattered anymore,” Colbert reacted.
The CBS late-night star then pivoted to what he called Trump’s “pardon” of Saudi Arabia. The president released a statement that critics claim gives cover to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who the U.S. intelligence community reportedly suspects gave direct orders to kill Khashoggi last month.
Colbert began attacking Trump’s statement by ripping its opening line, “The world is a very dangerous place!”
“It is now!” Colbert exclaimed. “Apparently you can kill a Washington Post journalist and the president don’t give a damn.”
He then took aim at the portion of the statement that expresses doubt that the Crown Prince knew about Khashoggi’s murder, something the Saudi government has previously denied. Trump wrote, “Our intelligence agencies continue to access all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
“Did Donald Trump just knowingly provide cover for a murderous autocrat?” Colbert asked. “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.”
The “Late Show” host mocked the “maybe he did” remark, saying that a “Magic 8 ball would have taken a firmer stance.” He also accused Trump of “throwing some shade” on the victim for saying that Saudi government had determined that Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state.”
“And in the face of this transparent, audio-taped human rights violation, the president reminded us that you can’t put a price on a human life… but he can,” Colbert told his audience.
Colbert’s criticisms were echoed by members of Trump’s own party.
GOP Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to Twitter after a statement with Trump’s comments was released, saying that U.S. “foreign policy must be about promoting our national interest,” which he contended included the defense of human rights.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he didn’t believe it was in the country’s “national security interests to look the other way when it comes to the brutal murder” of Khashoggi.