Corker says US will 'respond accordingly' to countries targeting journalists amid columnist's disappearance

Corker says US will 'respond accordingly' to countries targeting journalists amid columnist's disappearance
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.) on Monday said the U.S. will "respond accordingly" to countries that target journalists as officials investigate the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a tweet that he has personally raised Khashoggi's disappearance with the Saudi ambassador, and is awaiting more information.

Turkish officials believe Khashoggi, who was a Washington Post contributor and a regular critic of Saudi leadership, was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate. He went missing after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee, The Associated Press reported.

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The Saudi Arabian U.S. Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Corker is one of the most prominent U.S. officials to speak out about Khashoggi's disappearance to date.

Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe buck stops here: How to restore accountability to the federal regulatory system Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Lawyer: Flynn will keep cooperating after co-conspirator revelations MORE (R-Ky.), Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocratic Sen. Chris Murphy announces book on gun violence Lawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity Democrats look to demonize GOP leader MORE (D-Conn.) and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip GOP chairman introduces bill to force 'comprehensive review' of US-Saudi relationship MORE (D-Del.), as well as Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyFour heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities Ex-ICE chief blasts House Democrat after tense hearing: 'He ran out of there like a little girl' Live coverage: House Oversight examines Trump family separation policy MORE (D-Va.), have all highlighted Khashoggi's case since he was first reported missing last week, with Murphy suggesting the U.S. should reconsider its relationship with Saudi Arabia in light of the missing journalist. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday said that he is personally following the case.

The Turkish government on Monday summoned the country's Saudi ambassador to request "full cooperation" from Saudi Arabian leadership in the investigation, and to gain permission to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Washington Post in an editorial on Friday contextualized Khashoggi's disappearance as part of a broader Saudi effort to silence critics. The newspaper also left a column of its editorial section blank to acknowledge Khashoggi's absence.

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOcasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump MORE (R-Wis.) weighed in on the matter Monday while speaking at the National Press Club in Washington.

"I think it's very disturbing," Ryan said about Khashoggi's disappearance. "It's very unnerving. We just need to get the clear facts."

Scott Wong contributed.

Updated at 6:03 p.m.