Trump to meet Erdogan but not bin Salman at G20 amid Khashoggi fallout
US President Donald Trump will not formally meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at an upcoming G20 summit in Argentina.
“I know the president’s schedule is pretty packed and has a number of sessions that he will be involved in with the G20,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a press briefing on Tuesday. “I don’t think there’s any time for us to add anything additional. Whether or not there’s interaction, I’m not gonna rule that out.”
National security adviser John Bolton also said that the Group of 20 summit "is full to overflowing at this point," referring to meetings with the leaders of Germany, Japan, Argentina, India and South Korea.
However, Trump will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin
Erdogan has implicated the crown prince, the Saudi de facto ruler, and other top Saudi leaders in Jamal Khashoggi's murder.
The CIA has provided the Trump administration with a tape of Khashoggi’s murder, which Trump has refused to listen to.
“People who speak Arabic have listened to the tape and given us the substance of what’s in it,” Bolton said during a briefing at the White House. “I mean, if they were speaking Korean, I wouldn’t learn any more from it, either. I can read a transcript.”
The White House announcement came as pressure was mounting on the Trump administration over supporting the kingdom in the wake of Khashoggi’s murder.
Trump has thrown his support behind bin Salman, who reportedly ordered the assassination of the dissident journalist and Washington Post columnist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey last month.
At G20, the US president will also meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The gathering will take place in Buenos Aires from November 30 and December 1.