The assassination in Malta of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017 put the island in the headlines. John Sweeney, who reported on the story for Newsnight in the immediate aftermath, has been back to Malta to look into the stories Caruana Galizia was covering before her death and to speak to Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor says five people have been sentenced to death and three have been handed life sentences, over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The trial, held at the Criminal Court of Riyadh, took place behind closed doors and the identities of the defendants have not been released. Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year. Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) says he had no prior knowledge of the operation.
Donald Trump’s admiration of Vladimir Putin and the tyrannical way he runs Russia is very worrying to Trump’s friend Joe Scarborough.
The Morning Joe host strongly advised that Trump to put out a statement condemning the killing of journalists and political opponents. Because if he doesn’t, his recent statements in two separate interviews over the course of the last year are even scarier.
“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader,” Trump said in December 2015 when asked about Putin murdering journalists and political rivals. “Unlike what we have in this country.”
“But again: He kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” Scarborough replied.
Trump then stunned Scarborough by excusing Putin’s crimes.
“I think our country does plenty of killing, also, Joe, so, you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on. A lot of stupidity. And that’s the way it is.”
And just as in that interview, Trump basically repeated himself during an interview with Bill O’Reilly that aired prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday.
“There are a lot of killers,” Trump said in defense of Putin. “You think our country’s so innocent?”
And that makes Joe Scarborough wonder if Trump will start emulating Putin.
“If Donald Trump keeps being asked to criticize Vladimir Putin for assassinating journalists, and Donald Trump refuses to criticize Vladimir Putin for assassinating journalists, and say, well, we do it, too, in a sense, does that suggest that he thinks that it’s OK to assassinate journalists? Does that suggest that it’s OK to jail political opponents, to assassinate political opponents?”
Scarborough then condemned Trump for defending Putin and advised him to issue a statement against killing journalists and political rivals to make it clear that he does not support doing these things.
“If you don’t condemn after being asked repeatedly to condemn these actions, at some point you go back to the ‘he who does not deny admits’ story, and it suggests that he does. I suggest somebody at the White House get him to write a very strong statement letting the world know that he condemns the assassination of journalists and political rivals, because he suggests in the two interviews with O’Reilly and us that he does not…How do you compare a country whose leader assassinates journalists, a country’s leader who assassinates political rivals — we saw one found dead in the street across from the Kremlin a year ago — who jails economic rivals, who has an authoritarian regime that has put everybody on notice, he’s plundered his country. Many people estimate that Putin is worth $200 billion that he has stolen from the Russian people, and yet this desire to keep preaching moral equivalency continues and it is baffling. It was disturbing enough a year ago, it is baffling now, as president of the United States, that he’s still doing this.”
Donald Trump is a threat to our individual liberties and our lives. His obsession with wanting to be buddies with Putin is frightening and the fact that he is actually defending murder is sickening and un-American.