Donald Trump Jr on Friday promoted a smear linking Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to Osama bin Laden, retweeting a series of tweets meant to imply that the missing Saudi commentator supported terrorism, the Daily Beast reported.
With President Trump reluctant to block military sales to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggis alleged murder after he entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, conservative pundits have been straining to provide excuses for US inaction, according to Will Sommer writing in the Daily Beast.
Don Jr. promoted a smear tying Jamal Khashoggi to Osama bin Laden, according to The Daily Beast, retweeting a series of tweets meant to imply that Khashoggi supported Islamic terrorism. https://t.co/96uKAOmYdj
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 12, 2018
They have claimed that Khashoggi was a terrorist sympathizer, based on his coverage of terrorist groups and leaders, including Bin Laden.
The latest attack on Khashoggis reputation began with Patrick Poole, a terrorism correspondent for conservative website PJ Media. Poole ran images from a 1988 article Khashoggi wrote showing Khashoggi holding a rocket-propelled grenade with fighters in Afghanistan opposing the Soviet Union.
Anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan during this period were often supported by the United States.
Khashoggi was among a number of journalists who interviewed Bin Laden in the 1980s and 90s. Still, the picture and article, Poole said, was proof that Khashoggi was “tooling around Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden.”
Sean Davis, co-founder of conservative website The Federalist, commented on Pooles tweet to suggest that Khashoggis defenders were being duped by Iranian interests looking to damage relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Trump Jr then boosted Daviss post, retweeting for his 3 million Twitter followers the attack on Khashoggi.
Huh. It's almost like reality is quite different than the evidence-free narratives peddled by media with a long history of cooperating with or getting duped by Iran echo chamber architects. https://t.co/olEV859jxv
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 12, 2018
Khashoggi, 60, has been missing since 2 October when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork so he could remarry, and has not been seen since.
The Trump Organization on Friday night did not immediately return a request from CNN for comment on Trump Jr's Twitter post.