The Latest: Senate ends Saudi war aid, blames crown prince
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the congressional response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (all times local):
Senators have voted to recommend that the U.S. end its assistance to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen and put the blame for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi squarely on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The votes are a direct challenge to both the longtime Middle East ally and President Donald Trump’s handling of the relationship.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who co-sponsored the Yemen resolution, calls the vote a “historic moment.”
The bipartisan votes came two months after the Saudi journalist’s slaying at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and after Trump persistently equivocated over who was responsible. U.S. intelligence officials concluded that bin Salman must have at least known of the plot, but Trump has repeatedly praised the kingdom.
The Senate has passed a resolution saying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Senators unanimously passed a resolution Thursday in a direct rebuke to the crown prince. It calls for the Saudi Arabian government to “ensure appropriate accountability.”
It’s unclear whether the House will consider the measure. Senators voted on it after President Donald Trump equivocated on who is to blame for Khashoggi’s death and praised the kingdom. U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that bin Salman must have at least known of the plot.
Passage of the resolution came after senators passed a separate measure calling for the end of U.S. aid to the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Senators have voted to recommend that the U.S. stop supporting the Saudi-led war in Yemen, directly challenging both Saudi Arabia and President Donald Trump in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s slaying.
The bipartisan vote Thursday comes two months after the Saudi journalist’s killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and after Trump has equivocated over who is to blame. U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must have at least known of the plot, but Trump has repeatedly praised the kingdom.
Frustration with the crown prince and the White House prompted several Republicans to support the Yemen resolution, a rebuke to the longtime ally. Others already had concerns about the brutality of the Yemen war.
It’s unlikely the House will consider the resolution.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have introduced a resolution rebuking Saudi Arabia for the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).
The Senate could vote on the resolution as soon as Thursday, after considering a separate resolution that would recommend pulling U.S. aid from a Saudi-led war in Yemen.
The resolution states that the Senate “believes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi” and calls for the Saudi Arabian government to “ensure appropriate accountability” for those responsible.
The resolution also calls the war in Yemen a “humanitarian crisis” and demands that all parties seek an immediate cease-fire.
It is unclear whether the House would vote on the resolution if it passes the Senate.
Senators are expected to vote on a resolution that would call on the U.S. to pull assistance from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, a measure that would rebuke Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).
The Senate may also consider a separate resolution condemning the journalist’s killing as senators have wrestled with how to respond to the Saudi journalist’s murder. U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must have at least known of the plot, but President Donald Trump has been reluctant to pin the blame.
Senators voted 60-39 on Wednesday to open debate on the Yemen resolution, signaling there’s enough support to win the 50 votes needed. But it’s unclear how amendments could affect a final vote expected to come Thursday.