Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation

Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDems demand answers following explosive new Cohen report Dem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid MORE (D-Conn.) on Friday slammed the Saudi government's explanation for the death of Jamal Khashoggi, describing it as "preposterous" and calling for U.S. action.

"For two weeks, Saudi Arabia has been lying to the world, telling us that Jamal was alive when they knew, the whole time, he was dead," Murphy wrote on Twitter.

"The new explanation is preposterous, and America’s moral compass has come completely unmoored if we don’t take action," he added.

Earlier Friday, the Saudi government for the first time acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

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Saudi Arabia claimed in a statement that the dissident journalist, who was a columnist for The Washington Post, died during a fight inside the consulate.

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined other lawmakers on Friday in expressing doubt over Saudi Arabia's explanation, saying "we should not assume" that it "holds water."

“The story the Saudis have told about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance continues to change with each passing day, so we should not assume their latest holds water," Corker said in a statement.

"They can undergo their investigation, but the U.S. administration must make its own independent, credible determination of responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder under the Global Magnitsky investigation as required by law," he added.

The Saudi government originally claimed earlier this month that Khashoggi left the consulate soon after he entered on Oct. 2 to pick up paperwork for his marriage.

Turkish officials, meanwhile, have said they have audio recordings that prove Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate, though Turkey hasn't released any recordings publicly.

Several other lawmakers — including Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Barr’s first task as AG: Look at former FBI leaders’ conduct Debate builds over making Mueller report public MORE (R-S.C.), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDemocrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal Trump expected to pitch immigration deal to end funding stalemate Dem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown MORE (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Dem on call for Nielsen investigation: I am 'sick and tired of this administration lying' Dem senator requests FBI investigate Nielsen for potential perjury Trump officials discussed ‘deterrent effect’ of prosecuting migrant parents: report MORE (D-Ore.) — on Friday also criticized Saudi Arabia's explanation for Khashoggi's death.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE told reporters during a trip to Arizona on Friday that he believed the kingdom's explanation was credible while he called the arrests of more than a dozen Saudi nationals in connection with the case a "good first step."