Looks Like Steve Mnuchin Is Gonna Go Chill in Saudi Arabia After All

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It appears that not even the alleged role members of the Saudi government played in the death and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is enough to keep U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from hobnobbing with Saudi bigwigs at an upcoming “anti-terrorism” summit in late October.


According to the Washington Post, Mnuchin plans to attend a meeting later this month at Riyadh’s Terrorist Financing Targeting Center alongside various Middle East counterparts, including members of the Saudi security services, which is currently under investigation for its possible role in Khashoggi’s assassination.

News that Mnuchin would be traveling to Saudi Arabia came just one day after he dramatically announced that he would not attend a separate Saudi-sponsored financial confab, as he’d originally planned, presumably in response to Khashoggi’s death.

Mnuchin’s upcoming visit is largely indicative of the “feign outrage, but return to business as usual” stance the White House has attempted to take following Khashoggi’s October 3 disappearance inside a Saudi consulate building in Istanbul, Turkey. Since then, President Trump has repeatedly attempted to both downplay the Saudi government’s presumed culpability in Khashoggi’s death and limit any financial fallout his assassination may have on U.S.-Saudi economic relations.

According to the Post, the White House has not yet released the names of who Mnuchin will be meeting with while in Riyadh. But here’s something he might want to discuss at the meeting: this past August, 40 children were killed while riding their school bus in Yemen when a Saudi-led coalition warplane dropped a U.S. made bomb as part of its ongoing war in that country. If they’re going to talk about terror financing, seems like a little introspection would be a good place to start.

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.