Corker: 'Everything' points to Saudi involvement in journalist's disappearance

Corker: 'Everything' points to Saudi involvement in journalist's disappearance
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing GOP senators frustrated with Romney jabs at Trump MORE (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that “everything” indicates Saudi involvement in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he reviewed U.S. intelligence on the issue Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Asked if that intelligence proves Turkey’s claims, Corker said, “Everything right now points to Saudi Arabia.”

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“They’ve got a lot of explaining to do,” he added.

Corker also said he plans to reveal some sort of Senate action later Wednesday, but would not elaborate on what it is before its release.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who has been highly critical of Saudi Arabia’s rulers, has not been seen since last week, when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée.

Turkish officials have claimed Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate and dismembered. The Saudis have called the allegations “baseless,” holding that he left the consulate alive the same day he arrived.

On Wednesday, President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE said he spoke with Saudi officials about Khashoggi and that the White House has been in touch with the fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, to arrange a visit.

"It's a very sad situation, it's a very bad situation," Trump told reporters during a briefing in the Oval Office on Hurricane Michael.

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"We cannot let this happen — to reporters, to anybody," he added.

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGraham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward MORE (N.J.), said he is working with Corker on the Senate response.

He likewise would not elaborate ahead of its release, but pledged it will be “pretty powerful.”

“The Saudis have this entitlement air about them, and so I think they’re mistaken,” he said. “One thing is to be an ally, the other thing is to believe that an alliance means you have carte blanche. That’s not the case.”