Top GOP officials in the United States are yet hesitant to address Saudi Arabia’s possible murder of a dissident journalist in Turkey as the Trump administration severely engages in efforts to maintain close ties with Riyadh.
According to Press TV, Republican leaders in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, said Wednesday that they would await the outcome of an investigation into Jamal Khashoggi’s mysterious disappearance at the Saudi consulate on October 2.
This is while gruesome details of the apparent assassination appear on a daily basis, with the Turkish media reporting that Khashoggi’s fingers were severed before he was dismembered earlier in the day.
Some US lawmakers, including John Kennedy, Mark Warner and Nancy Pelosi, have joined others slamming the kingdom for murdering the journalist while pushing the administration to take action in accordance.
“I think Mr. Khashoggi is dead,” Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy told reporters on Capitol Hill. “I don’t think the aliens abducted him. I don’t think he fell through a hole in the space-time continuum. I think he’s dead. And I think the Saudis killed him… I think whether King Salman or Prince Mohammed knew about it or not is really irrelevant. They’re captains of the ship.”
US President Donald Trump is meanwhile deflecting questions about the Saudi royal family’s involvement in the case in an effort not to harm friendship with the monarchy as well as his legacy $110 billion arms deal.
“At this point, they (the Trump administration) would be wise not to bring up an arms deal to Congress because I think the mood of Congress on both sides of the aisle is this outrageous act can’t be followed by a business-as-usual arms deal,” the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, told a gathering of defense and national security correspondents.
“We have to get all the facts on the table,” he further said, noting that Khashoggi could be a victim of “a grotesque and obscene act by elements within Saudi Arabia.”
Some reports have suggested that one of the suspects is a close companion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Saudis have totally denied any involvement while Trump has suggested that “rogue killers” may be behind the case.