U.S. Senate sends rebuke to Saudis, Trump over Khashoggi murder

Nov 30, 2018, 01:57
U.S. Senate sends rebuke to Saudis, Trump over Khashoggi murder

Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks during testimony by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Bin Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia's defense minister, is known as the architect of the Yemen war.

Mattis said pulling back US military support in Yemen and stopping weapons sales to important partners would be misguided.

Blunt, one of the two Senators from Missouri, received at least $19,200 in campaign contributions from firms representing Saudi Arabia in 2017, the CIP said, with Boozman, Burr, Crapo and Scott, representing Arkansas, North Carolina, Idaho and SC respectively, receiving contributions ranging from $1,000-$2,500 between 2016 and 2017.

A bipartisan proposal to block any further USA military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen is one step closer to being adopted, after the Senate voted 63-37 on Wednesday to allow a floor vote on the resolution.

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Other Republicans who do not support the Yemen resolution said they think it is important for Congress to send a legislative reprimand to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi murder.

In October, Putin said that there was not enough evidence that Riyadh was behind Khashoggi's disappearance and that the United States bore a "certain responsibility" for his fate. "Long-standing relationships guide but do not blind us", Mattis said.

"This conflict isn't optional for Saudi Arabia, and abandoning it puts American interests at risk too", Pompeo said.

While Mattis was sober, Pompeo struck an antagonistic tone in an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal on the morning of the briefing.

In the face of that, Congress is set to vote on a war powers resolution this week, which would withdraw USA support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and is considering sanctions or other penalties for the kingdom. According to a recent YouGov poll, 89 percent of liberals Americans and 54 percent of conservatives expressed an opinion opposing continued arms sales to the Saudi-UAE alliance fighting in Yemen.

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But senators, including Graham, want to hear from CIA Director Gina Haspel on what the spy agency knows about Khashoggi's killing. Lead senators wanted her to provide her direct assessment of Khashoggi's killing and whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible. US intelligence agencies are said to have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman must have at least known about the plan to kill Khashoggi, although Trump has appeared to doubt that assessment.

"What obviously happened is basically certified by the CIA", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R, told reporters yesterday. Dick Durbin of IL saying Pompeo and Mattis said the White House blocked Haspel from attending - something the White House denied Tuesday. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who demanded that Haspel or someone from the intelligence community be there.

However, many senators left the briefing saying otherwise.

Regarding his decision to vote for the legislation on Wednesday, Graham said: "I changed my mind because I'm pissed". He noted that the measure may yet be amended to find some middle ground. "But I also recognize that we can not limit civilian casualties or advance the peace effort commencing early next month in Sweden by disengaging" with the Saudis, he said in his prepared remarks. With a 63-37 vote, the Senate moved to advance the resolution, which was sponsored by Sens.

Canada on Thursday imposed sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals linked to the "abhorrent and extrajudicial" murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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