Jamal Khashoggi.

The Art of the Murder


cjones10202018

During Donald Trump’s Helsinki Summit with the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin was asked about having compromising information on Trump. Putin responded to the American journalist by telling him, “Just disregard these issues and don’t think about this anymore again.” As the supposed leader of the free world, an American president should have taken this opportunity to educate an authoritarian leader that that’s not the way it works in free nations. He should have told him that free nations have freedom of the press, that it’s the first part of our Constitution, and that no president, American or Russian, can tell an American journalist what they can cover, not to mention what they can and can’t think about. Instead of doing any of that, Donald Trump just smiled smugly, appearing very satisfied with Putin’s answer and lecturing of the reporter.

We are not surprised Trump isn’t defending the press, human rights, or just basic rights over the murder of a journalist for The Washington Post. Trump is a man who accuses the media of being the “enemy of the American people” and flings out the term “fake news” on an almost daily basis. In fact, he even used it yesterday. Saudi Arabia probably took a cue from Trump when murdering Jamal Khashoggi and considered him an enemy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Someone is taking cues from someone else. At first, we thought Trump was taking it from Saudi Arabia when he speculated that Khashoggi was murdered by “rogue killers.” For this theory to work, you have to believe that somehow a band of “rogue killers” flew into Turkey on a private jet owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, broke into the Saudi Arabian consulate, murdered a man, chopped his body up, sterilized the room, and flew out of the country within hours on the same private jet, and did it all quietly. Now, it appears Saudi Arabia may be taking the “rogue Killer” cue from Trump.

What may be the most despicable about this is that the president of the United States of America is helping murderers craft a cover story.

When asked if he’s helping them engage in a cover-up, Trump denies it and immediately goes into how much Saudi Arabia spends on arms and “other things.” He expresses concern that the Kingdom will do their defense shopping elsewhere, like Russia or China. He points out that Khashoggi was not an American citizen and only a permanent U.S. resident, as if that means it’s not our problem.

The president who claims he’s a great deal maker is showing the entire world that he’s not a deal maker at all, and more of a patsy. Saudi Arabia needs arms from the United States. They would face more pressure from the inability to purchase from us than we would from the loss of their money. Yet, Trump is allowing them all the leverage.

Trump is stating publicly how much we need their money. Instead of demanding that Saudi Arabia come here to do some “splaining,” he sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to them, where he was photographed with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), who is suspected of ordering the murder, smiling and laughing. Trump can’t criticize the Kingdom over a murder, yet he attacks Canada over cheese.

What we need to question isn’t money the Saudi government is spending on American defense products and “things,” but how much they’ve spent on Donald Trump.

Trump denies having any financial interest in Saudi Arabia. Is he lying or being tricky with his words? Maybe he doesn’t have any financial interest IN the Kingdom, but they have a stake in him.

First, Saudi Arabia, like Russia, was very interested in helping Trump win the election. In 2016, an emissary for two princes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates met with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump goons offering to help Trump win the election. I wonder if they met in the same room where they held the meeting with Russians. After the election, Saudi Arabia paid Trump campaign veterans $5.4 million to lobby on their behalf, in areas where they’ve never hired lobbyists before.

But, you don’t have to take my word for Donald Trump having financial connections to Saudi Arabia. You can take his. At a campaign rally in Mobile, Alabama in 2015, he said, “I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much!”

In 2001, Trump sold the 45th floor in Trump World Tower to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $4.5 million. That’s an entire floor. When Trump was $900 million in debt, a Saudi prince helped him out by purchasing his yacht for $20 million, that Trump had paid $29 million for (there’s those great deal making abilities again). Since the election, Saudi Arabia has spent over $270,000 at the Washington Trump Hotel. Trump’s hotels in New York City and Chicago have also had a rush of visitors since the election. Why do they always want to stay at Trump hotels? The interesting detail about the hotels in NYC and Chicago is that bookings are down, but the Saudis are helping defray those lost revenues.

After he announced his presidential campaign, Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia.

While Republicans accused the Clintons of being corrupt, and taking money from Saudi Arabia (seriously), Trump’s corruption is staring us right in the face. He’s violating the emoluments clause, he won’t release his taxes, and he’s lying about where his income is coming from. His supporters point out that he’s giving his salary back to the government but ignore the fact that he’s making a windfall off taxpayers.

This stupidity of the Trump administration can be amusing and I get some good cartoons out of it, but it’s becoming dangerous. People are literally being murdered and the president is trying to help the murderers cover it up. We need to stop Trump before he tries to turn the United States into the kingdom of Trumplandia. He’s already practicing the nepotism that’s the governmental structure in Saudi Arabia.

We need to keep the pressure on Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump until we receive answers on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. And, after they give us those bullshit answers we should demand the real ones.

We thought Donald Trump was horrible when he was merely a stupid, sexist, racist bigot stealing from charity, defrauding the government, and defending Nazis and pedophiles. Now, we know he’s even worse and will help cover up an actual murder.

Be Complicit
What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

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Enemy Of The Saudi People


cjones10142018

The United States is a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world. We present an example that encourages other nations to follow. Past presidents have been champions and ambassadors of American freedom. It’s what the world expects from us. Citizens in oppressed nations need to hear it from our leaders.

Our most important freedom is freedom of the press. That’s why it’s in the First Amendment, and not the Second. Journalism is the only profession explicitly protected by the United States Constitution. While supporters of Donald Trump rejoice in having a president who is a “Constitutionalist,” he says, “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it.”

Trump calls the press “fake news” and the “enemy of the American people.” He’s targeted specific journalists from Katy Tur to Jim Acosta for bullying and harassment. Journalists have received death threats mimicking Trump’s language and even adding “MAGA” to their promises of violence. A major news network recently received a threat stating, “I swear allegiance to my leader, and he says you’re fake news, you’re the enemy. I must rid the country of you because you’re the enemy of the people.” One Trump supporter threatened to travel to the offices of The Boston Globe and commit a mass shooting. Apparently, Trump sycophants aren’t the only ones inspired by his free press hating rhetoric.

The government of Saudi Arabia is accused of killing a Saudi citizen, journalist for The Washington Post and resident of Virginia, Jamal Khashoggi. The Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is suspected of ordering the murder of Khashoggi. Mohammed and the Saudi government were not discouraged by the United States from murdering a journalist, even after U.S. intelligence intercepted the prince’s plans to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

Last week, Khashoggi was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and he never left, at least not alive. The Turkish government has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering the journalist, flying his body out of the country, and that they even hacked him into several pieces.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government, and many within it would probably describe him as an “enemy of the Saudi people” who wrote “fake news.” Why would the Crown Prince be discouraged by America from murdering a journalist when the president of the United States calls the press the enemy?

The Saudi’s may also believe there would be no repercussions from the Trump administration. Saudi Arabia was the first nation to receive a visit from a President Trump. They lavished praise on him, blasted his image on jumbotrons across Riyadh, and even treated him to a sword dance. Mohammed has become a close friend to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, often engaging in private phone conversations that are not on any public record, and striking concern within the U.S. intelligence community. Mohammed has been quoted as saying Jared is “in his pocket.”

Mohammed initiated a crackdown against many in his nation perceived to be a threat to his power, which included arresting a Trump critic. Donald Trump praised the move.

If Saudi Arabia is responsible for the death of Khashoggi then the United States must implement sanctions against them, which would include individuals. How will Donald and Jared handle leveling punishment to their good buddy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

There are a lot of things Trump doesn’t understand. The Nuclear Triad, why we have troops in South Korea, words on paper, etc. I don’t expect him to understand why press freedom is important or that he bears responsibility when people threaten and attack journalists while screaming his catchphrases. Trump will never understand what it means to be presidential as he’s still operating as a con man.

The United States needs a leader who will stand up to those who threaten freedom, from Saudi Arabia to Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump needs to demand Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. We need a leader who will put the nation and our values before himself.

We also need a leader who isn’t a coward.

Be Complicit
What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.