Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi

Lamar Ellis
December 6, 2018

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who supported the resolution, said last week that the Trump administration's weak response to Khashoggi's murder had damaged the nation's credibility overseas.

Breaking with President Donald Trump, U.S. senators leaving a briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel on December 4 said they are even more convinced that Prince Mohammed was involved in Khashoggi's death.

Corker suggested that US President Donald Trump had condoned the murder of a journalist by refusing to condemn the Saudi crown prince. Lindsey Graham and Tennessee Sen. Numerous lawmakers to meet with Haspel already seemingly made up their minds that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi's murder.

Saudi Arabia has faced heightened pressure as a result of the murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi government critic and Washington Post columnist who was killed in the country's Istanbul consulate on 2 October.

Graham added that his opinion on Saudi Arabia had changed and that he would no longer support the war in Yemen or arms sales between the USA and the kingdom until the issue was addressed.

Graham said that President Trump has worked to create a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, and he "clearly" isn't being respected.

The murder has damaged Riyadh's global reputation and Western countries including the US, France and Canada have placed sanctions on almost 20 Saudi nationals.

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"If he were in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder in about 30 minutes", Corker said. "The motion to proceed's going to pass, and we're going to be in a courageous new world", the Connecticut Democrat told Roll Call on Tuesday.

The Saudis have charged 11 people but deny the crown prince was involved.

"It is a zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince", Graham told The Washington Post.

But senator after senator leaving the Central Intelligence Agency briefing said there's no doubt that bin Salman was involved, adding that the United States can not ignore the matter. In recent months, Mattis - a former Marine four-star popular with lawmakers - has defended other politically controversial moves by the Trump administration, like troop deployments to the USA border and plans to reorganize the military for a Space Force.

He serves on the House Intelligence Committee.

And Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican who was not part of the briefing, said that "by the director choosing to meet with some, but not others, congratulations to her, she has pissed off everybody". You'd have to be "willfully blind" to not conclude Mohammed was responsible, he said.

Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, went to Twitter to voice his opinion, smashing the caps lock to say "ENOUGH!" in regards to Saudi Arabia's behavior. "I'm not going to blow past this", he said. "As to Pompeo and Mattis, I have great respect for them". Secretary of Defense James Mattis was emphatic last week, telling reporters, "We have no smoking gun that the Crown Prince was involved".

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