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The bat signal has gone out in Trumpland, and the vampires are obediently flying in formation. This Khashoggi murder story isn't going away, but here in US Amurika we got bombs to sell. So the GOP Brain Trust called an emergency meeting and came up with A PLAN. What if Jamal Khashoggi was a terrorist who deserved to be beaten, dismembered with a bone saw, and have his body repatriated to Saudi Arabia in pieces distributed among his killers' luggage? Can Republicans really have sunk that far?

YES, THEY CAN. The Washington Post reports,

In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Those aspersions — which many lawmakers have been wary of stating publicly because of the political risks of doing so — have begun to flare into public view as conservative media outlets have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part at protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.

Wow, that's pretty fuckin' evil, even by the debased standards of today's GOP! But if that's what it takes to protect Trump and Kush, Fox is here to oblige. Here's Harris Faulkner on the curvy couch wondering if maybe Jared Kushner's BFF Mohammed bin Bonesaw even has time to order the murder of a dissident reporter since, "He's dealing with a whole host of other issues over there." He's probably too busy, like, washing his manly beard to murder people outside Saudi Arabia, right?


Media Matters, invaluably as usual, has the transcript.

HARRIS FAULKNER (CO-HOST): And now some things have come out, and we're just reporting the facts, Lisa, we don't have to fall down one way or the other on this, but Khashoggi was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood --

MARIE HARF (CO-HOST): That's iffy, Harris, to say that he was "tied to the Muslim Brotherhood."

FAULKNER: Well, what was it, then?

HARF: So, throughout his career, he was a government spokesperson for the royal family, he worked for Prince Turki [bin Faisal Al Saud] when he was in Washington, D.C., and, at times, had written and worked with some Muslim Brother (sic) members in Saudi Arabia --

FAULKNER: Muslim Brotherhood.

HARF: But he was always a spokesman or a journalist, and so -- he's been tied up with a lot of people --

LISA BOOTH (CO-HOST): Didn't his tweets sympathize with the Muslim Brotherhood?

FAULKNER: I just put it out there because it is in the constellation of things that are being talked about.

HARF: Some people are using that, though, to discredit him. I'm not saying you are, some are, and I don't like that.

FAULKNER: No -- putting it in the mix. Lisa?

BOOTH: I think some of his tweets showed sympathy to the Muslim Brotherhood as well.

See, Khashoggi was bad because he worked with Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia. So they were totally right to murder him. And now we must sell those same Wahhabists $100 billion of bombs to murder more people with. Okay?

NO? How about the Federalist with the Filthy Libs Love Them Ay-Rabs #HotTake?

Cool story, Ben! Quick question, though -- WHO FUNDS THE FEDERALIST? There are hundreds of millions of Saudi dollars sloshing around DC think tanks and wonkshops. Might there be a Riyal or two in The Federalist's coffers, or is it all Kochbux? It's fair to ask because NOBODY KNOWS!

Meanwhile, the ties between Prince Bonesaw and the killers become clearer every day. Al Jazeera says that there were extensive phone contacts between the killers in Turkey and the prince's office. (Please forgive rough translation.)

And Reuters is reporting that MBS's father King Salman is creaking back into action and may rein in his heir apparent.

"Reaction and threats to the possible sanctions of the last 24 hours were still (coming) from the crown prince," the businessman close to royal circles said on Monday. "The king is now holding the file personally ... and the tone is very different."

The king has spoken directly with Erdogan and Trump in recent days. Both the king and his son met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he visited Riyadh on Tuesday.

King Salman, 82, spent decades as part of the inner circle of the Al Saud dynasty, which long ruled by consensus. In four decades as governor of Riyadh, he earned a reputation as a royal enforcer who punished princes who were out of line.

Whether he is willing or able to resume that role in this crisis remains unclear, palace insiders say. One source with links to the royal court said the king was "captivated" by MbS and ultimately would protect him.

Or maybe he's totally senile and that train has left the station. Anyway, it's probably better to be like Pat Robertson (can't believe we just typed that!) and just admit we don't give a shit about human rights as long as Uncle Sam gets paid. Because the Iranians kill people, the Saudis kill people, the Syrians kill people, whatever. What's important is that Jesus doesn't want us to jeopardize $100 billion of arms sales because one brown dude gets assassinated.

We've got to cool the rhetoric. And what the president is trying to do is to give the Saudis an out. And calls for sanctions and calls for punitive actions against the Saudis is ill-advised. [...] You've got one journalist — who knows? Was it an interrogation? Was he assassinated? Were there rogue elements? Who did it? Well, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking answers from the Saudi royal family over that missing journalist. Who was allegedly killed by Saudi operatives, although they don't know for sure. And Wendy, I just think, you've got $100 billion worth of arms sales, which is, you know, that's one of those things. But more than that, we have to have some Arab allies. We cannot alienate our biggest player in the Middle East.

Brother Pat gets points for not BSing, we guess. Unlike Rush Limbaugh, who sat down with Hannity to make mouth farts about Hillary Clinton and Benghazi to prove that Libs are just pretending to care about human rights, since they'd complain if Trump cured cancer, obviously.

Sorry, no transcript because NOT TODAY, SATAN. This is the last BONE SAW report for the week, and we are too disgusted to type any more.

Wonkette OUT.

[WaPo / Media Matters / Federalist / Reuters / Crooks & Liars]

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