'Not a Smoking Gun...A Smoking Saw': Senators Convinced on Khashoggi Killing

'Not a Smoking Gun...A Smoking Saw': Senators Convinced on Khashoggi Killing

Panelists on MSNBC's Morning Joe raised concerns on Wednesday morning about the repercussions of President Donald Trump's personal relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

US intelligence officials have concluded that the crown prince must have at least known of the plot, but Trump has been reluctant to pin the blame. Militarily, Saudi Arabia is a staunch ally and a buffer against Iranian military expansion.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, was killed inside the consulate after he went there on October to collect documents in order to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Fellow GOP Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee shared Graham's view. The U.S., he said, must "send a clear and unequivocal message that such actions are not acceptable on the world's stage".

There are several proposals in the works, including freezes on all United States arms sales to Riyadh and tightening sanctions on those involved in Khashoggi's murder.

More news: Original El Chapo: Top GOPers rip Saudi prince

The South Carolina senator was directly repudiating comments by top Trump administration officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who just last week said there was "no smoking gun" implicating the crown prince.

He also said: "There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw".

The strong words could spell trouble for the Saudis as influential Democrats and Republicans have signaled their willingness to work together to punish Riyadh.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

Khashoggi's Washington Post editor, Karen Attiah, said that he should be expelled from the USA outright. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

More news: How to watch the 2018 Ballon d'Or online, TV

"The U.S. presence in the area is important and while lots of things are happening in a war zone that you wouldn't want to happen worse things would happen if you had no presence there", he said. It only acknowledged he was killed after Turkish press reports based on intelligence leaks revealed extensive details of the operation.

"The worldwide community seems to doubt Saudi Arabia's commitment to prosecute this heinous crime. We categorically reject any accusations purportedly linking the Crown Prince to this horrific incident".

At the same time, Turkey outraged by the killing on its soil claimed to have an audio tape of the killing and CCTV footages that in reality, Khashoggi was brutally murdered and the Kingdom preplanned it, which contradicted the Saudi account of an accidental killing.

"The senators on both sides acknowledge that the president will be hesitant on this issue, as he has clearly thrown his hat in with the crown prince", Lobb concluded. They did so against the advice of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who said US involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East. "It has really put the U.S.in a position where it has to make an uncomfortable decision; it is a test of USA global leadership at a critical time of democratic backsliding and increasing authoritarianism".

More news: Arsenal and Tottenham charged over player conduct in north London derby

Related Articles