Graham says Mohammed bin Salman had Khashoggi ‘murdered’
Lindsey Graham has advised Saudi Arabia to dump bin Salman following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,
Riyadh must remove Crown Prince from power before he harms the kingdom’s image even more the Republican Senator said.
“This guy is a wrecking ball, he had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused,” Graham told Fox news on Tuesday
Press TV reports: “This guy has got to go. Saudi Arabia, if you’re listening. There’s a lot of good people you can choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself,” Graham said, abbreviating the crown prince’s name
“I think he’s on a bad track. I can never do business with Saudi Arabia again until we get this behind us,” the senator added.
The South Carolina lawmaker made the remarks as he discussed the possible murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
US intelligence intercepts show that Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi mission on October 2, was murdered on bin Salman’s direct order.
Turkish officials have also obtained recordings that prove he was indeed murder at the hands of Saudi killing squads. There are reports that bin Salman’s personal guard carried out the murder and took Khashoggi’s dismembered body back to Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, however, has firmly denied any knowledge of the journalist’s fate.
Garaham said he had no doubt that Khashoggi was murdered and bin Salman was aware of this. He also regretted defending Saudi Arabia on the Senate floor now that the “toxic” crown prince had become the putative king.
“I know this: Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing about it,” said Graham. “He’s the 33-year-old prince who jumped over people. He’s the son of the existing king.”
“He had this guy murdered in the consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it? I feel used and abused. I was on the floor every time defending Saudi Arabia because they’re a good ally,” said Graham.
The senator said he would “sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia” over its constant abuses of human rights.
This puts Graham on a long list of Republican and Democratic lawmakers who have called on President Trump to pressure the kingdom until it comes clean over Khashoggi’s fate.
Trump, however, has taken a cautious line on the issue, saying that he would “punish” Riyadh if it was behind the killing but he would not go as far as risking profitable military and economic deals with the kingdom.
Faced with international pressure, Trump sent State Secretary Mike Pompeo to Riydh on Tuesday to discuss the matter with Saudi King Salman, MBS and other Saudi high officials.