CNN host Anderson Cooper sees a growing effort from some U.S. conservatives to smear dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to help U.S. President Donald Trump.
Cooper’s “Anderson Cooper 360” official Twitter account tweeted out a clip of his Saturday interview with GOP Virginia senate candidate Corey Stewart with the caption, “some conservatives have been peddling smears against the journalist in an effort to cushion Pres. Trump from blowback over his handling of the situation.”
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“He’s kind of a mystery man. ... The thing is that he’s kind of a mystery guy,” Stewart said of Khashoggi, who Turkish officials say was killed and dismembered this month by a team of Saudi assassins inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. Stewart, who referes to himself as a neo-Confederate and has been under fire for his ties to the alt-right and white nationalism, is running against Senator Tim Kaine, who holds a large lead over Stewart.
“Well, I mean, you know, there’s a lot of reports out there that he was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, reports that he was connected to Osama bin Laden and others. I don’t know if they’re true,” Stewart continued.
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However when Cooper pressed him for evidence, Stewart appeared to fumble.
“Well, I mean, look, if you wanted somebody who is an expert on who he was, you know, I’m not the right guy,” Stewart said.
Fox News’ Harris Faulkner also alleged the Khashoggi had “[ties] to the Muslim Brotherhood” on Thursday’s episode of Outnumbered.
“I just put it out there because it is in the constellation of things that are being talked about,” Faulkner added.
Fox News reached out to the Inqusitr, who first tied Faulkner’s comments to other similar ones, with a statement from the television host.
“My job as a journalist is to ask the tough questions, which I was doing yesterday, in citing reports from the New York Times on the various ties journalist Jamil [sic] Khashoggi had, including to the Muslim Brotherhood. My questions surrounding the disappearance of Kashoggi are unwavering and does not differ from the way I do my job on other stories. The Oct. 2nd disappearance is a terrifying reminder of the dangers facing journalists and we will continue to report on all areas of this case as we search for answers.”
Last week Donald Trump Jr. promoted a Twitter exchange that implied Jamal Khashoggi, the missing Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist who is believed to have been killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey earlier this month, is a supporter of "jihadist."
The president’s eldest son retweeted Patrick Poole, a writer for the far-right website PJ Media who was discussing the issue with Sean Davis, who is the co-founder of The Federalist, a conservative news site.
On Friday morning, Poole tweeted an image of a 1988 news article with Khashoggi’s byline that identifies the journalist holding a rocket-propelled grenade in a photo with mujahedeen in Afghanistan.
“He’s just a democrat reformer journalist holding a RPG with jihadists,” Poole tweeted of Khashoggi.
“Huh,” Davis tweeted at Poole. “It’s almost like reality is quite different than the evidence-free narratives peddled by media with a long history of cooperating with or getting duped by Iran echo chamber architects.”
However, Trump Jr., Poole and Davis all ignore or are apparently unaware of the fact that when Khashoggi wrote the article, the United States government and Osama bin Laden were allies with the Afghan fighters against the Soviet Union.