A top Senate ally of President Donald Trump warned Monday of a “devastating” impact on the US alliance with Saudi Arabia if allegations are confirmed that the kingdom killed a prominent journalist.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Riyadh must provide “honest answers” after a Turkish government source said that the Saudis killed Washington Post opinion contributor Jamal Khashoggi when he visited the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
“We agree that if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid — economically and otherwise,” Graham tweeted.
“Our country’s values should be and must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy with foes and allies alike,” he said.
Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned in a tweet against governments attacking journalists outside their countries.
“I have raised Jamal’s disappearance personally with the Saudi ambassador, and while we await more information, know we will respond accordingly to any state that targets journalists abroad,” he wrote.
Trump and his administration have not commented on the fate of Khashoggi, whom Saudi Arabia insists left the Saudi consulate.
Graham has a close relationship with Trump, especially on defense policy.
A military hawk, Graham has enthusiastically supported Trump’s policy of working with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states to contain the influence of Iran.
‘The worst day of the presidency so far for Donald Trump’: Advisor to four presidents
President Donald Trump has not had a worse day in office than he suffered on Friday, according to a top former White House advisor.
David Gergen served in the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He was interviewed Friday night by CNN's Anderson Cooper.
"If you are looking to throw somebody under the bus, Gordon Sondland would probably be a prime candidate to be next in line to be thrown under the bus," Cooper said.
"I think the president will wait patiently to see what he says and then decide," Gergen replied.
He then offered his analysis of the situation.
Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’
MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.
"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."
"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."
Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report
President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.
Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.