“Hypocrisy,” said the Duc de la Rochefoucauld, the 17th-century French aristocrat best remembered for his Maxims, “is the homage vice pays to virtue.” By that standard, Donald Trump is no hypocrite, at least when it comes to justifying his decision to give Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi heir apparent, a pass for having had his goons liquefy Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. In announcing last week that MBS, as the prince is commonly referred to, would pay no price for the heinous crime for which the CIA is all but certain he is responsible, Trump made not the faintest genuflection to virtue — to the point of slyly suggesting the turbulent journalist might have deserved dismemberment as “an enemy of the state”, an epithet Trump likes to apply to the US media. His statement, thuggish in phraseology and teenaged in punctuation, was greeted with a rare blast of bipartisan disgust as not the manner in which a US president ought to be presenting his country to the wo...

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