Speaking in Ankara a day after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham broke with Donald Trump, suggesting that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) must be “dealt with,” Al Jazeera reports.
Graham also said that the United States Congress would be introducing sanctions against those involved in the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
“The leadership coming from MBS is not what I have envisioned,” Graham said, “Imprisoning the Lebanese Prime Minister, taking all of your critics and throwing them in prison, the brutal murder of Mr. Khashoggi in Turkey, violating every norm of international behavior.”
“I have concluded that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States cannot move forward until MBS has been dealt with.”
Lindsey Graham’s Saturday remarks are in line with his infamously hawkish foreign policy views, but in the case of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, they echo the sentiment expressed by the international community, and by the United States intelligence services.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi has not only shed light on the Saudi regimes many atrocities — with arguably the most significant one being the ongoing slaughter in Yemen, supported by the United States — but it has also prompted widespread, bipartisan push back against the extensive Saudi-U.S. collaboration.
Nevertheless, President Donald Trump has stuck with Bin Salman, questioning and contradicting his own intelligence community in the face of overwhelmingly bipartisan pressure. Notably, some media reports have suggested that Saudi Arabia’s government has found a way to influence White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The pressure is not subsiding, according to the Guardian, which reported on Tuesday that Congress is set to make an “unprecedented challenge” to the president’s authority, with a measure calling for the end of American involvement in the Yemen Civil War. The resolution is expected to be put to a vote in the next six weeks.
According to Lindsey Graham, the United States will start sanctioning individuals thought to be involved in Khashoggi’s murder. Furthermore, according to the conservative senator, the Congress will make a “definitive” statement that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman “knew” about the murder and “is responsible” for it.
The upcoming sanctions are meant to “let others know this is not what you do if you’re an ally of the United States,” according to Lindsey Graham.
Graham, who is on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, added that he is hoping President Trump will slow down the announced troop withdrawal from Syria.