Ex-US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Warns Against Trump's 'Wide-Eyed Acceptance' of King's Denial: He Told Me 9/11 Was 'An Israeli Plot'

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it,” Trump said Monday.

Robert Jordan (Screengrab)

Robert Jordan, the former United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia under President George W. Bush, cautioned Donald Trump against “wide-eyed acceptance” of Saudi Arabia’s claim it had nothing to do with the disappearance and alleged murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump on Monday said he spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it,” Trump said. “He didn't really know, maybe, I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers, who knows?”

CNN’s Jim Scuitto asked Jordan about Trump appearing to accept King Salman’s denial at “face value.” Jordan related the denial to Saudi Arabia’s posture following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“This is the same King Salman who told me after 9/11 that the 9/11 attacks were an Israeli plot,” Jordan said. “And he said that firmly. Did I believe that? Of course not. I don't think you can go in with wide-eyed acceptance of anything some of these world leaders say.”

Jordan went on to suggest it’s “quite possible” King Salman didn’t know of Khashoggi’s attack. And that “it was in the hands of his son, the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman].”

“Nonetheless, I think we've got to have a thorough investigation,” Jordan continued. “The Saudi delay of 13 days has made it all the harder to find forensic evidence, I suspect. Cleaning crews have made it harder. You have to look at the pattern and the circumstances of the 15 hitmen coming, the two private airplanes and be able to draw some conclusions with what we can find.”

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Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.