Corker: Saudi Crown Prince is ‘out of control’

Corker: Saudi Crown Prince is ‘out of control’
© Anna Moneymaker

Outgoing 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 Wednesday said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is "out of control," citing the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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"We also have a crown prince that's out of control — a blockade in Qatar, the arrest of a prime minister in Lebanon, the killing of a journalist," Corker told reporters.

"And whether there is a smoking gun, I don't think there is anybody in the room that doesn't believe he was responsible for it," he added.

 

Corker has been critical of Saudi Arabia since agents of the kingdom killed Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, inside a Saudi Consulate in Turkey last month.

Corker has also criticized 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 over his response to the killing, saying last week that the White House was acting like a "public relations firm" for the crown prince after Trump issued a statement defending the kingdom and casting doubt on whether the crown prince ordered the murder.

"I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” Corker, a frequent critic of the president, wrote in a tweet at the time.

Trump has voiced doubts over whether the crown prince was aware in advance of plans to kill Khashoggi, saying in that statement that "maybe" he knew but "maybe he didn't."

The CIA reportedly has high confidence that the crown prince ordered the murder, though Trump has maintained that the CIA hasn't reached any conclusions.

Corker did not run for reelection in 2018. Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans GOP may face choice on tax cut or stimulus checks MORE (R) won the seat and will take office in the Senate in January.