Rep Chris Stewart: “journalists disappear all over the country.” Are you tired of this topic?
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After President Trump responded to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October, some claimed it was “dismissive.”
The president’s response came in a statement subtitled “America First!” that called Khashoggi’s murder “terrible” but declared Saudi Arabia “a great ally,” according to CNN.
Rep. Chris Stewart defended Trump’s response recently, saying “journalists disappear all over the country.” Stewart explained the complicated nature of dealing with our allies when things go wrong.
“This is a very, very difficult challenge because we have to, on one hand, hold them accountable – including the crown prince for whatever action he may have been involved with,” Stewart told CNN. “And at the same time what is protecting US interests? What is going to counter Shia extremists? What is going to help bring stability? What will help bring an end to the war in Yemen? You have to balance all those considerations as we move forward on this.”
It took massive pressure and time before Saudi officials admitted that Khashoggi’s death was a premeditated murder. This murder comes amidst many other killings of journalists around the world. In fact, 53 journalists have been killed in 2018 so far, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Stewart expanded on his comments on Twitter, saying “As the leader of the free world we have to accomplish two goals; defend human rights while also attempting to maintain important relationships with key allies that we hope will help us bring stability to critical parts of the world. We should always strive to do both.”
When asked about Trump’s “dismissive” response to the murder of Khashoggi, Stewart added, “I think all of us agree there needs to be an appropriate response here, we need to hold individuals accountable and we need to completely understand the facts regarding that as well.” Read more about this on CNN here.