The Trump team is standing by Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the investigation and controversy surrounding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi deepens. On Tuesday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo visited Riyadh for a photo op with the prince. In a press release, he praised the Saudi leadership for “supporting a thorough, transparent and timely” investigation into the Khashoggi affair, a full two weeks after he first went missing. Pompeo also said that Saudi leaders denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, something his boss, US President Donald Trump, let the world know on Twitter as well:

By Tuesday evening, that line became more complex to defend after the New York Times reported that at least four suspects in Khashoggi’s disappearance had ties to the crown prince. A fifth was “of such stature that he could be directed only by a high-ranking Saudi authority”, the newspaper said. Complexity has never deterred the president, howe...

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