Published: Mon, November 26, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Republican Senators Urge Tougher Stance On Saudi Arabia: Trump's Statement 'So Weak'

Republican Senators Urge Tougher Stance On Saudi Arabia: Trump's Statement 'So Weak'

The Saudi journalist, who was a US resident and contributor to The Post, was killed and allegedly dismembered with a bonesaw by a team of Saudi agents after he entered the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

King, who was briefed by the Central Intelligence Agency on the Khashoggi killing before the Thanksgiving break, fired back at Trump's characterization of the CIA's conclusions, saying "the Central Intelligence Agency doesn't do feelings, they do assessments". "Intelligence I've seen suggests that this was ordered by the crown prince". Trump, in his statement last week, said, "I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America".

"The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region", the president added, noting Saudi investments in USA military equipment and other contracts.

"I disagree with the president's assessment".

The Egyptian journalists said in a statement that they refuse to receive Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Egypt for humanitarian, professional, union, and national reasons. While living in the U.S., Khashoggi wrote opinion columns for The Washington Post that were critical of Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh's involvement in the long-running Yemen conflict.

Schiff said, "It causes our standing in the world to plummet, it telegraphs to despots around the world that they can murder people with impunity, and that this president will have their back as long as they praise him".

"I believe this is an opportunity for Congress to weigh in and say let's hold our efforts in Yemen", he added. Sometimes you have to work with bad guys in the world, there is a coherent realist case to be made there.

"I don't know why [Trump] is siding with the Saudis but I think there are things we can to change our relationship with the Saudis ― not withstanding whatever his personal motivations might be", Lee told NBC.

"I'm also certain that in the next Congress people will look into that, " he added.

Corker, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN last week that Secretary of Defense James Mattis, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo need to brief the full Senate about the situation in Yemen and the circumstances behind Khashoggi's killing before senators decide what actions to take against Saudi Arabia.

Trump "feels that, by saying that we don't know or that the world is a unsafe place or everybody does it, he thinks it makes him look strong", adds Schiff. "And I'm anxious to hear from a number of our intelligence agencies on this", she said.

Khashoggi's murder also put a spotlight into Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, with U.S. lawmakers pushing the Trump administration to stop its support for the Kingdom as a punishment for the killing.

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