Republicans have turned on Donald Trump, as they now believe that Mohammed bin Salman did orchestrate the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Whether it changes anything, is harder to figure.
The very public and very awkward death of Jamal Khashoggi has increased in magnitude, as noted Republican senators in concert with the CIA believe that Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman is guilty of the murder of the fêted journalist.
Sen. Lindsey Graham says Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is a “wrecking ball” and is “complicit in the murder” of Khashoggi to the “highest level possible.” “Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving, but not at all costs,” he adds https://t.co/tmxMxvHBXn pic.twitter.com/5fmQVclJ6d
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) December 4, 2018
It matters, because of who is saying what. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator (who has been a loyal supporter of Donald Trump), told the media that there is no “smoking gun,” in the case, but a “smoking saw,” a reference to the bone saw that was seen firmly in the grasp of the medical professional who did the grim work in the Embassy.
Lazy hyperbole aside, it’s a particularly interesting pickle, as the only people who are presuming the innocent of the Prince, colloquially known as ‘MBS’ happen to be Donald Trump and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Back on November 20, Donald notably stood alongside the Saudis, calling Khashoggi an “enemy of the state”, and that he’d “love” if MBS wasn’t implicated in the murder of the US citizen. Donald also stressed the importance of keeping US-Saudi ties strong, particularly considering the arms deals in place between the two nations.
Corker: “Let me just put it this way. I think if he was in front of a jury, he would have a unanimous verdict in about 30 minutes. Guilty. A guilty verdict.”
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) December 4, 2018
As for what’s next, we’re unsure. Back on November 28, the US Senate voted to advance a bill that would require the US to sever its ties to the Saudi-led war in Yemen, but that vote is yet to come to term. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell might hint at the thinking on Capitol Hill, stating that “…a complete fracture with Saudi Arabia in my view is not in our best interest long-term.”