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#BoycottUber Trends After CEO Says Khashoggi Murder a Saudi 'Mistake'

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reached out to the publication hours later to clarify: 'I said something in the moment that I do not believe'

A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 25, 2018.
Osman Orsal / REUTERS

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi created an online firestorm when he told "Axios on HBO" that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "a mistake" by the Saudi government.

Khosrowshahi, according to Axios, reached out to the publication hours later to clarify: "I said something in the moment that I do not believe. When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused."

Referring to the government of Saudi Arabia, Khosrowshahi said: “I think that the government said that they made a mistake. Listen, it’s a serious mistake. We’ve made mistakes too, right?”

The damage, however, appeared to already be done as clips of the segment went viral online and the Twitter hashtag #BoycottUber began to trend. 

Axios notes that Uber is connected to the kingdom as “Saudi Arabia is Uber's fifth-largest shareholder and the head of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is on its board of directors.”

Uber CEO defends Saudis, then scrambles to backtrack