(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

Ooooh, look out! President Trump was using his tough-guy tone of voice to respond to the reported Saudi murder/mutilation of a journalist. He put on his best glower and lambasted the Saudis for a coverup that was the “worst in the history of coverups.”

This was more than a peculiar line of criticism. Aside from implying that Trump has a broad knowledge and interest in the history of covering up crimes, this was simply a criticism of technique, not of murder. It was preceded by Trump saying, “It was carried out poorly.” More ineptitude! Come on, Saudis — get your act together!

Did Trump say anything about the moral outrage of silencing a critic by murdering him? Wait for it. “They had a very bad original concept.” What? Which concept? Murder? Or a murder done in a way in which they’d get caught? But still Trump glowered. Perhaps he would lower the boom on the Saudi regime with some punishment. And … there it was! The actual accused murderers would not be welcome to come and visit the United States! That’s right! Visas revoked!

Take that, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman! We endorse your scapegoating plan with a cherry on top! As to additional punishment, Trump isn’t going to mess around. He will “leave it up to Congress.” And that’s not all. HOW will he leave it up to Congress? “Very much.”

So, learn your lesson, Saudi Arabia. If you are going to commit a crime, plan it better, do it better and cover it up better, for crying out loud. Do it in a way that doesn’t put Trump on the spot, with people trying to get him to condemn the killing of journalists, or he will chew you out for it. But good.

Now it’s time to get back to scaring people about fictitious murderous Middle Easterners in a caravan somewhere. We’ve heard enough now about the real ones on Trump’s buddy list.

Worst response to a murder ever.