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Pat Robertson Says Khashoggi Death Isn't Worth Ruining Saudi Ties, '$100 Billion Worth of Arms Sales'

TheWrap logo TheWrap 10/18/2018 Jon Levine
Pat Robertson wearing a suit and tie © TheWrap

Pat Robertson says Americans need to calm down over the likely murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia, stressing that one journalist wasn't necessarily worth blowing up the relationship between the United States and the kingdom.

"You've got a 100 billion worth of arms sales," said the longtime televangelist on an airing of "700 Club" earlier this week. "We've got an arms deal that everybody wanted a piece of … it's huge. It'll be a lot of jobs, a lot of money come to our coffers and it's not something you want to blow up willy-nilly."

"I just want to cool down the temper for those who are screaming blood for the Saudis," he said channeling his inner Kissinger. "Look these people are key allies. Our main enemy in the Middle East is Iran, and the Saudi stand up against Iran."

"You don't blow up an international alliance over one person, Im sorry," he concluded.

The moment was first flagged by Right Wing Watch.

Since his disappearance on Oct. 2, the world has become transfixed with Khashoggi's story. Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of killing the Washington Post contributor at their consulate in Istanbul, using a 15-man hit team to chop up his body with a bone saw. Audio secretly recorded from inside the building now in the hands of Turkish media documented the gruesome details, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Saudi Arabia has categorically denied any allegation of wrongdoing, though CNN and others reported earlier this week that the kingdom was considering releasing a report which would admit they killed the journalist as part of a botched interrogation.

Admission or not, the Khashoggi crisis has created immediate consequences for Saudi Arabia. A much-hyped financial conference next week in Riyadh has been racked by sponsor pullouts, including from the New York Times, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Nikkei. Global institutions from museums to the WWE have also come under pressure to reassess their relationships with the country.

President Trump has addressed the matter on several occasions but has so far taken a cautious "wait and see" approach saying the U.S. was still assessing all the facts in the case.

"Well, I think we have to find out what happened first. You know, here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent," he told the Associated Press Tuesday. "I don't like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was innocent all the way. So I was unconcerned. So we have to find out what happened and they are doing a very major investigation. So is Turkey."

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