Pompeo grinning with Mohammed Bin Salman

Carol Morello at the Post:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Saudi Arabia to highlight U.S. concern over the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, the missing journalist whose name Pompeo did not utter in public after arriving in the kingdom.

Pompeo’s talks with three officials, including the king and crown prince, were “direct and frank” about the need to investigate what happened to Khashoggi, said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

But the cameras that recorded the officials’ small talk ahead of the private meetings captured smiles and pleasantries, giving no hint that relations between the two countries are in crisis over Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Well you wouldn’t want Pompeo to make the nice prince mad would you.

During Pompeo’s first trip as secretary of state in April, the crown prince kept him waiting several hours for an appointment because he was presiding over the groundbreaking of an entertainment center. On Tuesday, Pompeo returned to his hotel for an hour as his aides awaited a call that Mohammed was ready to see him.

Pompeo smiled as he sat down in a chair next to Mohammed, who asked: “How was your trip? I hope you don’t have jet lag.”

Pompeo predicted he would feel the time-zone difference in a little while and expressed his gratitude for the meeting. “Thank you for hosting me,” he said.

Wow! So direct, so frank. I bet MBS was all of a tremble.


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