Congress and a large portion of the general public have expressed outrage at the way the White House has responded to the torture and subsequent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The American-based writer walked into the Saudi Arabia consulate in early October and disappeared.
Turkey stepped forward with an audio recording of the killing that the US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, apparently never heard.
“I haven’t listened to it, and I guess I should ask you, why do you think I should?” Bolton asked reporters on Tuesday, according to the New Yorker.
“Unless you speak Arabic, what are you going to get from it, really?”
When asked if he had access to an interpreter, Bolton gave this inexplicable response: “I mean, if they were speaking Korean, I wouldn’t learn any more from it, either.”
US intelligence now believes that the Saudi royal family is ultimately behind the murder of Khashoggi, who had previously run afoul of the royals due to the articles he wrote. Khashoggi believed in a free media, a right that Saudi Arabia does not have.
Shortly after the news was made public, the White House released a statement riddled with exclamation points and praise for US-Saudi relations, which include billions of dollars in oil deals.
According to the New Yorker, the whole situation is beginning to smack of a cover-up.
“Not having Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, at this briefing is a cover-up to a critical question that the members of the Senate have as to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). He is the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
“It’s outrageous that the Senate can be stonewalled from hearing from the C.I.A. director.”
US intelligence agencies report with “high confidence” that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was most likely responsible for the murder.
Almost two-thirds of the Senate voted to end US military support for Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen, according to CNN.
“I changed my mind because I’m pissed,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), usually one of Trump’s strongest allies. “The way the administration has handled [Khashoggi’s murder] is not acceptable.”
“I’m not going to be denied…it’s going to be hard for me to vote for any spending bill,” Graham told reporters.
“Anything that you need me for to get out of town, I ain’t doing it until we hear from the CIA,” he said. Graham is directly referring to the spending bill, which the Senate is scheduled to vote on soon.