Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Leading senators push towards deal targeting Saudi Arabia

Leading senators push towards deal targeting Saudi Arabia

Corker and other Republican senators, such as Lindsey Graham of SC, have slammed President Donald Trump repeatedly for his stance toward Saudi Arabia following the October 2 killing of Khashoggi, who was a columnist for The Washington Post and a US resident.

Senior US senators have introduced a resolution denouncing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as the war in Yemen and Riyadh's diplomatic standoff with Qatar.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) echoed that conclusion.

"If someone said Secretary Mattis or Pompeo were dishonest, they just don't know those individuals", Stewart told CNN.

It's unclear how strong that message will be.

After that briefing, Graham threatened to withhold his vote on key legislation until he heard from Haspel.

Senators, however, were divided as to what steps to take next, following a stinging vote last week to consider a measure cutting off United States military aid to Saudi Arabia's campaign.

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", said Graham, referring to reports that the Saudi team had included a forensic expert who arrived in Istanbul with equipment to dismember Khashoggi's body.

Graham said he supported the idea of stopping USA aid for the war in Yemen, but thought the war powers resolution was not constitutional.

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We don't want to look for excuses but that's how it is. "We will see how we line up in the next game". It's very special to play in the Merseyside derby and especially win.

"There is zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through", Corker said Tuesday after the closed-door briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel and a handful of senators.

Despite that assessment, President Trump has been wary of laying the blame on the Saudi royal.

He said that Saudi Arabia disrespected its relationship with the United States and needs to fix it.

"We have three different efforts underway, all of which have a lot of momentum", he told reporters on Thursday morning.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a "wrecking ball" and that "he's complicit in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi to the highest level".

Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein, Ed Markey and Chris Coons, and Republicans Marco Rubio and Todd Young joined Graham in sponsoring the resolution.

Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. He stated, "I believe it's vitally important to US national security interests to make a definitive statement about the brutal murder of an American resident - Mr. Khashoggi - who has three American citizen children". He was killed in what US officials have described as an elaborate plot as he visited the consulate for marriage paperwork.

However, U.S. President Donald Trump has made it clear that the country will not target the prince himself.

Amid criticism from Ankara over Saudi Arabia's lack of cooperation with the Turkish investigation, the official said Riyadh could "address those concerns" over its commitment to probing the murder by extraditing all the suspects to Turkey. "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!".

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