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Trump's inaugural chief inquired about the killing of Khashoggi, joke and then defending the Saudis

When asked if Khashoggi's criticism had worsened Saudi Arabia's reputation on the world stage, Barrack started his answer in a joke before indicating public reprimand in the US killing in a Western dispute of law of Saudi law.

"You can not make me a visitor to the Ritz," Barrack says, before moving to his reply to a question from CNN's Becky Anderson at the Milken Institute MENA Summit in Abu Dhabi.

"I believe the problem with what happened to the Khashoggi incident was the same problems of the West's East dispute that existed because of Sykes – Picot. So the West has been confused that the rule of law – is incomprehensible what the rule of law is in the Kingdom, "he added.

Barrack did not explain what he meant to be "a visitor to the Ritz," but the comment seems to be a reference to the Ritz-Carlton hotel in The Riyadh that has been changed to a super prison for high profile Saudi in the era of anti-corruption clearing of the kingdom in late 201


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While Barrack did not mention Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his name, he commended the economic vision of "young brilliant new leader" before attempting to justify the Khashoggi. "Whatever happens in Saudi Arabia, cruelty in America is equally or worse than Saudi Arabia's cruelty. Cruelty to any autocratic country is dictated by law," he said.

"So for us to order what we think is the moral code there when we have a young man in a regime trying to push themselves in 2030, I think it's a mistake," added by Barrack.

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma told CNN's John Berman that Barrack's comments were unacceptable.

"There is no time you can kill a publisher abroad, abolish them and take their bodies and say that somehow is right," Lankford says.

"Never, this is just and it's not worth anything in the United States where we stand for free press," he added.

Barrack launched a statement on Wednesday saying that he apologized "because it does not make it clear at the time I look at the murder that is suppressed."

"I feel deeply that some of the bad deeds of some should not be interpreted as the failure of a whole kingdom of kingdoms. Provided over 40 years in the region I can prove that the rule of law and monarchies throughout the Middle East is confusing in the West and the support for change and rule of law is important as the agony and mistakes of good change will take place, "he added.

"I love America and I am a product of American freedom, American leadership and the American dream. I always believe and believe that the United States is the largest country in the world but our history and the our Middle East policies are sometimes confusing. I believe that as a nation we continue to work to lead by example, and I believe we are still doing, "Barrack said.

Barrack, the executive chairman of the real estate investment trust Colony NorthStar, is a Trump business partner who helped raise funds in support of Trump's political ambitions and publicly defended the President.

In the 2016 Republican National Convention, he said Trump was one of his "closest friends," and described him as "sufficiently enough, sufficiently tough, sufficient enough and knowledgeable" to win the presidency .

Last summer, The New York Times reported that Barrack retained a wide network of contacts in Persian Gulf for years and introduced some partners from the Trump region before he became Republican nominee for the President.

In recognition of an executive familiar with numbers, The Times reported that Barrack's company raised more than $ 7 billion in investments since Trump won the Republican nominee and 24% of that money was from either the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. The report declares that Barrack's company has not disclosed the names of its investors. In October, Barrack was among the waves of top US officials and officials who left the summit of the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia amid growing controversy in the killing of Khashoggi.

  NYT: Said the Saudi Crown Prince that he will use a bullet & # 39; in Khashoggi
Since then, the CIA has a high-confidence leader who is the prince's leader Khashoggi's murder, conducted by members of bin Salman's circle.

However, the administration stood without a gun gun linking bin Salman to murder, clearing its defense in part in the way of intelligence works and the nature of this case. Agencies dedicate a level of confidence to their findings, presented to political leaders, but do not offer conclusions.

Barrack also served as chairman of the Trump's receipt committee filed by federal prosecutors in New York this month.

A wide range of subpoenas from the Manhattan US attorney office requires a committee to return documents related to almost every donor or donation, attend a committee event, piece of paperwork related to the legal requirements attached to donations and even "the possibility of" donations made by foreigners.

Barrack was not named in a subpoena and was not asked about the Tuesday survey.

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Barrack's comments about Khashoggi came as lawmakers work in a bipartisan effort at the White House after the administration failed to properly respond to a congressional deadline requiring the President to determine whether the bin salman was responsible for murder and if penalties were to be imposed as a result .

Sen. Bob Menendez, Democrat's rank in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN on Monday he was working in South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham "hold the feet of the fire administration" in Saudi Arabia by killing Washington Post's publisher.

Graham said he and Menendez were "doing the right action" to put a bill on the President's desk, and called Khashoggi's murder "barbaric acceptance."

"We believe the Crown Prince – MBS – – With one hand on it It can not happen without his knowledge and approval and we are going to take appropriate action," he added.

Last week, senior CNN administration official said that "the President maintains his judgment to refuse to act on the requirements of the congressional committee as appropriate."

The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also sent letters to the Senate Foreign Relations Chairman James Risch, an Idaho Republican Republic, and Menendez, of New Jersey, appear to set out the administration point of the speech.

Risch told CNN Wednesday that he was satisfied with the Trump team's response but the opinion was not shared by other major leaders of the Capitol Hill committee.

"The response I received was quite insufficient, almost half of the page and it did not comply with the law. I think it is important not only that Americans and policy makers know what has happened, we look at our policies to Saudi Arabia but also to the world in general, "Rep. Michael McCaul, the leading Republican at the House Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

"I met the blogger's wife who had been in jail for some time. The Khashoggi incident was a deadly killing and murder. We have great hope for this royal prince, but his rhetoric must meet his actions, "he told CNN.

CNN's Manu Raju, Nicole Gaouette, Erin Burnett, Erica Orden, Gloria Borger and Caroline Kelly contributed the report

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