Republican defends Trump over Saudi Arabia appeasement: 'Journalists are killed all the time'
U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are seen during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

After a press briefing by CIA director Gina Haspel, Republicans Lindsay Graham (R-NC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) asserted they have no doubts that Mohammed bin Salman orchestrated the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Senators statements stood in contrast to the Trump administration's official posture, which appears to be: "Maybe he did, maybe he didn't," as Donald Trump told the press in November.

Republican Rep. Chris Stewart tried to stake out a middle ground, telling CNN Tuesday that it's not clear that the President had been given all the information available to the Senators when he questioned bin Salman's involvement. He also pointed out that the US has to keep its strategic interests in mind, and noted that we collaborate with many countries where journalists are under threat.

"20 have been killed in Mexico. You don't think it happens in Turkey and China? Of course it does," Stewart told CNN.