US lobbying firms cut ties with Saudi Arabia

US lobbying firms cut ties with Saudi Arabia
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Two top lobbying firms are dropping Saudi Arabia as a client, the latest moves by U.S. businesses to distance themselves from Riyadh amid the disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

A spokesman for BGR told The Hill on Monday that the Washington-based lobbying firm "is no longer working for Saudi Arabia."

The Washington Post and Politico both reported on Monday that the Glover Park Group will no longer represent the kingdom, citing sources familiar with the matter.

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The Glover Park Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Last week, another major lobbying firm, the Harber Group, also dropped Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a Post columnist, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish authorities say officials working on behalf of the Saudi government murdered Khashoggi and likely dismembered him on the premises, and multiple U.S. lawmakers have said that evidence points to Saudi Arabia being complicit in the murder.

A growing number of companies and corporate executives have also withdrawn from an upcoming finance conference in Saudi Arabia amid Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Organizations that have withdrawn include the World Bank, The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC and Uber. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, KKR executive David Petraeus and Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford are among the executives who will no longer attend.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinGOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Overnight Defense: Iran tensions swirl as officials prepare to brief Congress | Trump threatens war would be 'end of Iran' | Graham tells Trump to 'stand firm' | Budget talks begin This week: Democrats, White House set for infrastructure, budget talks MORE is still expected to attend the event.

President Trump suggested Monday that "rogue killers" may be responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing an official account that will admit the journalist was killed after entering the consulate. The kingdom has so far publicly denied any involvement in his disappearance.

Updated at 8:41 p.m.