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's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong George Conway hits Republicans for not saying Trump's name while criticizing policy Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid 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 PaulOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill MORE (R-Ky.), Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyPelosi, Schumer hit 'flailing' Trump over 'sham ceasefire' deal Romney slams ceasefire deal, calls Trump's Syria move 'a bloodstain' in US history Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics MORE (D-Conn.) and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMeet the dog and 'sea turtle' who launched campaigns for office Senators demand briefing on Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria 2020 Democrats push for gun control action at forum MORE (D-Del.), as well as Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyPerry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry Trump confirms Rick Perry to step down as Energy secretary Overnight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule 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 RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate 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.