Jamal Khashoggi’s last column
The Washington Post published Jamal Khashoggi's final opinion piece; which his editor received from Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after he was reported missing in Istanbul. Do read What the Arab world needs most is free expression.
Karen Attiah, Jamal Khashoggi’s editor, then spoke about the writer and his work to Michael M. Grynbaum at the New York Times. The interview included her admitting: "I want to show that journalists are human," and “It feels disorienting to me not to have his voice here.”
Not a positive
Trump Says He Believes Khashoggi Is Dead, Maggie Haberman, Mark Landler, and Michael Schmidt report at the New York Times. Haberman added that Trump told the paper of record “the issue is ‘not a positive’ for US-Saudi relations.” She added, “‘This one has caught the imagination of the world, unfortunately,’ Trump told NYT shortly before he left for Montana.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apparently listened to an alleged recording of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a source in Turkey told ABC News’ Ian Pannell. Ben Gittleson tweeted: “Pompeo was also given a transcript of the recording, the official says.”
After a week of horrifying news about the missing journalist who is now presumed dead, conservatives started mounting a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump, according to Robert Costa and Karoun Demirjian at the Washington Post.
In Saudi Arabia, they’re apparently weighing blaming a top intelligence official close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi’s killing, the New York Times’ David D. Kirkpatrick and Ben Hubbard write. "Assiri’s seniority makes the notion that he carried out the operation without the further participation of Prince Mohammed at least technically plausible,” Jacqueline Alemany shared from the piece. Michael M. Grynbaum added this bit from the story: "Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, has been urging the president to stand by Prince Mohammed, according to a person close to the White House and a former official with knowledge of the discussions."
As the Khashoggi crisis grows, the Saudi king asserts his authority and checks his son's power, sources tell Nick Tattersall at Reuters.
And Twitter pulled down a bot network that was pushing pro-Saudi talking points about the disappeared journalist, according to an exclusive from Ben Collins and Shoshana Wodinsky at NBC News. “The pro-Saudi bots were mostly retweet bots, first discovered by @josh_emerson. Hundreds of them, but a Twitter source says there are a lot more that weren't found by researchers. The botnet was spreading conspiracies about Khashoggi in the past week,” Collins added on Twitter.
The president's appalling comments
The president praised Greg Gianforte, the Congressman from Montana, for assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs back in 2017. According to Ed Pilkington at The Guardian Trump said of Gianforte, “He's my guy." If you’re wondering what Jacobs did ahead of Gianforte’s assault: he “was requesting an interview with Gianforte in the course of a special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana.”
At the Washington Post, Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez also tackled news that Trump praised a congressman for assaulting a reporter at a rally in Montana.
Karen Tumulty wrote As we mourn a colleague, Trump celebrates violence against a journalist. Her opinion piece ran in the Washington Post. She added two important and upsetting points on Twitter:
“Let us be clear-eyed about what is going on here. Trump and his supporters are not looking to punish it. They are looking for a way to excuse it.
“The president's appalling comments reveal why the Saudis would have reason to think the US would look the other way if they committed an atrocity.”
Back at the New York Times, Maggie Haberman tried to explain what happens with A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts. “When a president who operates in gut and feel meets situations where the evidence is overwhelming, there are weeks like this,” she wrote. It might seem like a college philosophy class problem but is actually the stark reality of our daily lives, Haberman’s piece sums it up perfectly: “If there’s no truth, how do we discuss and make decisions that are rooted in fact?”
The New York Times published Eight Stories of Men’s Regret in the Opinion section. It is the work of Alicia P. Q. Wittmeyer, Gene Biringer, and Arthur J. Slavin. It includes the quotes: “I tried again and again. She didn’t say no or stop. She just sat there.” and “We all need to help this discussion go forward.” Kaleigh Rogers deemed it “an important contribution to the #MeToo discussion, an exploration of the culture and society that leads men to assault women.” Lauren Kelley added, “Well, this is something. My colleague @APQW asked our male readers: Have you ever treated a woman in a way you now regret? She was flooded with many hundreds of responses, some of them *very* disturbing. Here are eight respondents who agreed to be named.”
Obvious prior to 2016
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley broke with Trump when she told the press "in America, our political opponents are not evil." Rebecca Morin at Politico reported on the piece from the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York. Morin points out that Trump has often labeled Democrats as "evil," crime-loving and unwilling to defend the nation. Daniel Drezner wrote, “In 2018, I have to applaud @nikkihaley for saying something that would have been obvious prior to 2016. Still, props to Nikki Haley for actually saying it out loud.”
Politico’s Annie Karni wonders How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hillary? She means Maggie Haberman urges, “Read to the end of this @anniekarni joint - longtime Clinton aide @PhilippeReines makes clear she is at least mulling over running for a third time.” Emily Stephenson adds, “Hillary Clinton is saying things in interviews that make Dems wince, but she’s still a hot commodity to raise money. “The real future in this party is under 35, and that’s what we’re funding,” Howard Dean tells @anniekarni.”
The Justice Department’s Rank-and-File Tell of Discontent Over Jeff Sessions’s Approach to the New York Times’ Katie Benner. Matt Kelly believes “This column speaks for itself.”
The AP did a poll and discovered that just 1 in 4 people think Kavanaugh told the entire truth. Alan Fram wrote the piece.
You can read about the short life and ignominious death of de Blasio's national progressive agenda from Laura Nahmias at Politico. She got someone on the record to call the whole thing a “Fiasco.” Shane Goldmacher pointed out, “This @nahmias piece is excellent and it paints a brutal portrait.”
As we get closer to election day, an APM Reports investigation shows that Georgia purged an estimated 107,000 people largely for not voting. “All of this could swing a close election,” Johnny Kauffman pointed out.
Not buying a 2nd home anytime soon
Heidi Cruz talks about everything from Ted, His Senate Bid, and the 2016 Race to Elaina Plott at The Atlantic. Plott explained, “She had her whole future mapped out when she met Ted Cruz, starting with her dream job in Washington. This is the story of what came after. My profile of Heidi Cruz, her first interview since 2016.” Anna Palmer called it a “VERY good @elainaplott profile of Heidi Cruz. Looking at the real sacrifices she (and their family) has made to help her husband's political career.” Edward-Isaac Dovere shared this quote from the piece: “6 to 7 years in it, with me being the primary breadwinner—it’s like, ‘Uh, yeah, this is when people say thank you. I’ll now take that appreciation.’..Yeah, we’re 7 years into this, and we’re not buying a 2nd home anytime soon.”
Actually nice things
For a really happy story from The Guardian, read I pulled a 1,500-year-old sword out of a lake. The piece is fairly self-explanatory and comes from Saga Vanecek, who indeed found the relic in a lake in southern Sweden. We trust Heidi Moore, who said, “This is wonderful.”
Everyone’s favorite pop star turned makeup maven is about to get a lot more popular. That’s because US Weekly’s Nicholas Hautman and Jennifer Peros report that Rihanna Declined the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show Offer because she “supports Colin Kaepernick.” Although the NFL and Fox really wanted her to perform in Atlanta, and “insider” revealed “she said no because of the kneeling controversy.” “Wow, my queen!👏👏” Dylan Kickham tweeted.