On Wednesday, Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker accused the Trump administration of withholding information regarding the disappearance and suspected execution of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. Authorities believe Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.
Khashoggi was a Saudi citizen living in the United States. He spoke out against the Saudi government.
Since Khashoggi's disappearance and suspected murder, President Donald Trump and other members of the Trump administration defended the most likely suspect, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Trump also assured the press and public that the Saudi government was not involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.
But Corker—who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—told The Washington Post:
"I can only surmise that probably the intel is not painting a pretty picture as it relates to Saudi Arabia."
Corker also stated the Trump administration "clamped down" on sharing any of that intelligence information with Congress. The Trump White House canceled a Tuesday intelligence briefing and—according to Corker—told him they would not share additional information with the Senate at this time.
On Wednesday, Corker stated all indications from the intelligence he received before the Trump administration crack down showed "everything points … to [Mohammed bin Salman]". The Republican Senator added:
"This could not have happened without his approval."
People pointed to the Trump Organization's business ties to Saudi Arabia as a possible reason for the President's vehement denial of any wrongdoing by the Saudi government on Twitter. But that criticism goes back to when Trump first proposed his Muslim travel ban.
Despite Osama bin Laden and the terrorists of 9/11 being from Saudi Arabia, Trump left that country off his travel ban. People asked then what businesses the Trump Organization or Jared Kushner had with the Saudis.
I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing....— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1510009415.0
@realDonaldTrump What was Kushner doing in Saudi Arabia?— HillReporter.com (@HillReporter.com)1510009477.0
@realDonaldTrump I wouldn't be surprised U R linked to any of these Dirty Saudi in #MoneyLaundering scheme. Bad Hotel Scheme no doubt!— PrinceS (@PrinceS)1510125743.0
@realDonaldTrump Of course you do. They fund you.— beth harris (@beth harris)1510116564.0
After Trump's recent tweets defending the Saudis...
Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened “to our Saudi Arabian… https://t.co/sk2TDkyiwF— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1539607025.0
Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turki… https://t.co/d26Etc37Q1— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1539715218.0
...during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investiga… https://t.co/P4dcRYfGmP— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1539715219.0
...people again accused the President of putting his private business interests before the United States or the world.
@realDonaldTrump So,I guess we should ignore that a permanent American resident & journalist was killed IN a Saudi… https://t.co/PM63mEtSS4— Michael (@Michael)1539797747.0
@realDonaldTrump “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million,… https://t.co/rw4karkKzI— James Parkley (@James Parkley)1539708217.0
But Trump denied any business dealings with the Saudis.
For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I h… https://t.co/O5uI7mY3pQ— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1539695718.0
However his favorite network, Fox News provided a list for him of his Saudi business ties. Others joined in replying to the President on Twitter.
@realDonaldTrump Trump & Saudi Business: •1991: Sold yacht to Saudi Prince •2001: Sold 45th floor of Trump World To… https://t.co/0pDNvkXhUw— REDDOG (@REDDOG)1539774619.0
Meanwhile people do not feel confident in the GOP or the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or their chairman stepping up to the Trump administration.
This paragraph says everything you need to know about Bob Corker’s ability to do anything independent of the Trump… https://t.co/sKDzv1eC1b— Daniel W. Drezner (@Daniel W. Drezner)1539826892.0
Khashoggi: Waiting for Answers —10/16— #Trump: Answers forthcoming shortly Graham (R-SC): Don't have to be Sherloc… https://t.co/6BJhwxsokq— Fox News Research (@Fox News Research)1539886655.0
Gee, @SenBobCorker, you allow @realDonaldTrump to halt a genuine investigation into the #KavanaughRape allegations,… https://t.co/G06pNoSFKc— Cat Judo (@Cat Judo)1539891556.0
Senator Corker announced his retirement in the fall of 2017. His term will end in January 2019 when new Senators are sworn in after the November midterm elections.