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Tim Mullaney: Why Trump has to play the Saudis’ game — for now

In so many ways, Donald Trump was born too late — too late for his Hugh-Hefner-wannabe conception of masculinity, too late to have a press corps lacking the skills to undress his pretensions to self-made wealth, too late for his casual racism and constant lying to impress more than 40% of the electorate.

But there’s one thing Trump is too early for: He’s a year or two too early to exercise the strategic fruits of America’s looming energy independence.

With the leverage that near-energy independence brings, Trump could tell the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pound sand in the crisis over the apparent homicide of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, at a time when signs point to Saudi agents acting at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, committing premeditated murder over the exercise of liberties Americans take for granted.

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