Republicans, Sans Trump, Are Convinced Saudi Prince Ordered Murder. Now What?

If there were any doubt remaining that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the death and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, let the latest news put an end to that. The CIA briefed members of the Senate on the incident on Tuesday and the response following the meeting was that the evidence pointed with concrete certainty that the prince was guilty.

“He murdered him, no question in my mind,” said Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker. “The crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through.”

Corker’s take was not unique – the response from the senators was bipartisan and unanimous. Pretty much the only political leaders denying the obvious at this point reside in the White House. Along with President Donald Trump, both Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have refused to draw any conclusions.

Senator Lindsey Graham accused those cabinet members of being “willfully blind,” noting, “The reason they don’t draw the conclusion that [bin Salman] is complicit is because the administration doesn’t want to go down that road, not because there’s not evidence.”

“If they were in a Democratic administration, I would be all over them for being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia,” Graham added. As you should, Senator – so let’s make sure those partisan feelings aren’t preventing you from doing the right thing in regards to the current administration, either!

Quite plainly, the reason Trump isn’t willing to condemn Saudi Arabia is the money he has tied up with the country. He spent years boasting about how much money he makes from the country, and only in past months denied having financial ties because of the obvious conflict of interest at play. Once again, having his tax returns would be really helpful to get to the bottom of this!

Let’s not forget that when the president created his Muslim travel ban in the name of keeping terrorists out of the country, he left Saudi Arabia off the list, despite it being the home country for 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers. He’s shown favoritism to the countries that enrich him throughout his presidency.

Trump has pretty much made it clear that he has no interest in taking steps to harm the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia regardless of its culpability in the murder, which means it’s going to fall on the Republican-led Senate to take action.

The good news is that there’s reason to be optimistic that the Republicans are willing to go against the president on this matter. As Senator Graham contended, “Saudi Arabia’s a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving, but not at all costs. We’ll do more damage to our standing in the world by ignoring MbS.” Indeed, the U.S. would lose even more moral standing by staying friends with Saudi after this globally reviled killing.

Looking ahead, Congress can institute sanctions on Saudi Arabia and stop making weapons deals with the country as well, in light of their proven proclivity for killing dissidents. If they fail to take these steps, however, consider them just as complicit as Trump in the cover-up of this major human rights abuse.

52 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y17 hours ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y17 hours ago

thanks

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John J
John J17 hours ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J17 hours ago

thanks for sharing

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Lesa D
Lesa Dyesterday

the evil that men do when they remain silent in the face of such brutal & premeditated slaughter speaks volumes to their lack of character & conscience...

thank you Kevin...

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Janis K
Janis K6 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Colin C
Colin C6 days ago

So many world leaders should face trial. The slaughter of Khashoggi is disgusting but Interesting though is the fact that there has never been any proof that Russia attempted to kill the Skripals yet look at the sanctions imposed on them.

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Susanne R
Susanne R6 days ago

Shelley W. - (continued)

In fact, Trump's Washington hotel's acceptance of payments from foreign governments -including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - is the basis on an ongoing lawsuit against Trump."

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Susanne R
Susanne R6 days ago

Shelley W. - That's a very sad statistic. However, there is a difference. You're talking about "Mexican" journalists working in their own country. Jamal Khashoggi was a U.S. resident whose grisly death was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a "bestie" of our president and his son-in-law, and performed in a foreign country. His remains can't even be returned to his loved ones. I can't see how the Mexican drug cartels' killing of reporters from and in their own country can be looked at through the same lens. Horrible? Of course. But it's a matter to be handled by Mexican law enforcement agencies. How do we handle the murder of a U.S. resident in a foreign country, which murder was ordered by a close friend of the president and his senior adviser who also happens to be the husband of his daughter? Nothing was done about it. Nothing will be done about it. But the U.S. military-industrial complex DID make a big sale to a country famous for violating human rights...and trump will probably continue to be able to make lucrative deals with the Saudis...so I guess we can give trump yet another "mulligan."

From Politifact: " Trump has profited handsomely from business dealings with Saudis dating back at least to the 1990s. Even during his presidency, Trump hotels continues to earn business from the Saudi government, reports show. In fact, Trump's Washington hotel's acceptance of payments from foreign governments -including the Kingdom of Saudi Arab

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Julie D
Julie D8 days ago

Between the lucrative arms deals and Donald's personal business deals with the Saudi's nothing will be done at all, and our country will remain further disgraced .

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