Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut took direct aim at Donald Trump on Wednesday for essentially being paid off by the Saudis to cover up the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, the Democratic lawmaker drew a direct line from Trump’s deep financial ties to Saudi Arabia to his recent push to help them cover up the killing of Khashoggi, who was a legal U.S. resident.
In a letter sent to Trump on Wednesday, Sen. Blumenthal and ten other lawmakers demanded the president release information detailing his ties to the Saudis.
“This letter very simply seeks facts relating to the possible motive of the president for, in effect, aiding and abetting Saudi Arabia’s disinformation and distraction campaign,” Blumenthal told the MSNBC host.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 18, 2018
Sen. Blumenthal said:
Well, this letter very simply seeks facts relating to the possible motive of the president for, in effect, aiding and abetting Saudi Arabia’s disinformation and distraction campaign. And as you outlined so well at the opening, he has deep, lucrative, longstanding financial ties to the Saudis. He has sold them apartments and condos. He rents them to them. And hotel bookings have literally saved Trump properties. And they continue to make these payments to him in violation of the chief anti-corruption provision of the United States Constitution known as the emoluments clause. We’ve just surmounted a major legal hurdle in the last couple of weeks when the court ruled in the District of Columbia that we have standing, 200 members of Congress, and in this lawsuit, Blumenthal v. Trump, we seek basically facts and that letter also asks for facts relating to the financial ties.
Trump is putting personal profits ahead of American values
As Sen. Richard Blumenthal explained, what drives Trump’s behavior as president is not a commitment to American values or even basic human decency. Instead, it’s his commitment to himself his personal profits that drive his decisionmaking.
This president has deep financial ties to Saudi Arabia. He has repeatedly bragged about that in the past. Clearly, those ties are driving his PR blitz on behalf of the Saudis.
The same is true of Russia. While the rest of the world and Trump’s own intelligence apparatus have condemned the Kremlin for waging an attack on American democracy, the president has been missing in action. To this day, he likes to cast doubt on the undeniable fact that Russia meddled in the 2016 campaign.
As disturbing as all of this behavior has been, none of it is surprising for a man who has spent a lifetime putting himself and his own interests ahead of everything else.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.