Corker: 'A price needs to be paid' for Khashoggi's murder

Corker: 'A price needs to be paid' for Khashoggi's murder
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama MORE (R-Tenn.) on Thursday called for additional action from the Trump administration against Saudi Arabia after the U.S. announced sanctions against 17 Saudis for their alleged roles in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I have a lot of concerns about the trajectory that Saudi Arabia is on right now, and I think a price needs to be paid," Corker, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

Corker called Thursday's sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act "a significant step in the process that hopefully will involve additional action as well.”

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The Tennessee Republican said he's asked to meet with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBeirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally Advocacy groups come out against Trump pick for ambassador to Germany US pledges million in disaster aid to Lebanon MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel to discuss how the U.S. might further respond to Saudi Arabia's activities in Yemen, and its role in Khashoggi's death.

Corker, who is retiring and will leave the Senate in January, has been among the most outspoken lawmakers in calling for sanctions against Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's death last month.

The Washington Post columnist, who spoke critically of Saudi leadership, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Among those targeted by Thursday's sanctions is Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who the Treasury Department says was part of the “planning and execution” of the operation that led to Khashoggi's death.

The Saudis have offered changing explanations for what happened to Khashoggi, first denying knowledge of his whereabouts and later claiming he was killed in a "fight" gone wrong. A top Saudi official indicated late last month that the killing was "premeditated."

The Saudis have maintained that the crown prince was not involved in Khashoggi's death, but Corker and other lawmakers have rejected that claim.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE has spoken out about the killing, but has expressed reluctance to take action that could jeopardize the economic relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.