WASHINGTON—As criticism mounted over the country’s alleged role in the disappearance and possible death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration reportedly urged the leaders of Saudi Arabia Friday to stick to killing random Yemeni civilians. “The potential murder of a high-profile journalist critical of their regime raises grave concerns for us, and we appeal to the leaders of Saudi Arabia to restrict their extrajudicial murders to Yemeni people who don’t have any public platform,” said President Trump, adding that the White House would not sit idly by as the Saudis caused the deaths of innocent people unless they were Yemeni children in a school bus or a group of Yemeni people attending a wedding. “The United States asks Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to content himself with killings that don’t affect business deals or call our diplomatic ties into question, such as airstrikes on Yemeni infrastructure, fueling mass cholera outbreaks, or blocking food and medical supplies from reaching civilians. Look, we don’t even mind if you dismember and murder people inside the Turkish consulate, as long as they’re unknown Yemenis whose deaths won’t cause an international scandal. For the sake of all parties, we demand that the Saudis only kill people who hardly anyone in America cares about.” At press time, several major U.S. newspapers had published editorials praising the Trump administration for its tough stance on Saudi Arabia.

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