Pompeo defends US-Saudi relationship despite Khashoggi murder

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fiercely defended the Trump administration's support for Saudi Arabia in ligh...

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 1:20 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 1:20 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fiercely defended the Trump administration's support for Saudi Arabia in light of the outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, accusing critics of ignoring regional threats posed by Iran.

The Wall Street Journal op-ed published late Tuesday came one day ahead of Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis' scheduled classified briefing before the Senate on the war in Yemen. Senators have said they will bring up the administration's response to Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi's murder.

Central Intelligence Agency

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Government organizations - US

Homicide

Intelligence services

International relations and national security

Jamal Khashoggi

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Mike Pompeo

Misc people

Murder

National security

Political Figures - US

Politics

Saudi Arabia

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

US government independent agencies

US intelligence agencies

North America

The Americas

United States

White House

"The October murder of Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey has heightened the Capitol Hill caterwauling and media pile-on," Pompeo wrote. "But degrading U.S.-Saudi ties would be a grave mistake for the national security of the U.S. and its allies."

He pushed the administration's message that the "kingdom is a powerful force for stability in the Middle East," pointing to its contributions in fighting ISIS and other terrorists in the region and containing the threat from Iran, among other things.

"Is it any coincidence that the people using the Khashoggi murder as a cudgel against President Trump's Saudi Arabia policy are the same people who supported Barack Obama's rapprochement with Iran—a regime that has killed thousands world-wide, including hundreds of Americans, and brutalizes its own people?" Pompeo argued.

However, it's not only Democrats who have slammed the administration's handling of the Khashoggi affair. GOP Sens. Bob Corker, who heads the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Ben Sasse have publicly called for a tougher stance against the Saudis, and several European countries that supported the Iran nuclear deal have taken action against the Saudis.

Pompeo -- who argued that diminishing the alliance would "do nothing to push Riyadh in a better direction at home" -- noted that the US sanctioned 17 Saudis in response to Khashoggi's brutal murder.

"The Trump administration will consider further punitive measures if more facts about Khashoggi's murder come to light," he wrote.

Sources have told CNN that the CIA has assessed with high confidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directed Khashoggi's murder, which was carried out by members of bin Salman's inner circle in October.

However, the agency has not made a final conclusion, giving the White House an out. President Donald Trump has raised doubts about the CIA's assessment, and has signaled that he will not take strong action against Saudi Arabia.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96032

Reported Deaths: 2894
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7110159
DeSoto556559
Harrison385374
Jackson348670
Madison329788
Rankin329377
Lee271468
Forrest247872
Jones247579
Washington223872
Lafayette217339
Lauderdale2049125
Bolivar184066
Oktibbeha177850
Lamar170035
Lowndes156958
Neshoba1566104
Panola147129
Sunflower146546
Warren140550
Leflore140481
Pontotoc126616
Pike123451
Monroe122868
Copiah118433
Scott117427
Coahoma115528
Holmes109659
Marshall109517
Lincoln109053
Grenada108336
Yazoo105930
Simpson103346
Union99724
Tate98737
Leake95338
Adams93837
Wayne90021
Pearl River88353
Marion85935
Prentiss85517
Covington82022
Itawamba81521
Alcorn80311
George77113
Newton77024
Tallahatchie77021
Winston73819
Tishomingo68238
Chickasaw67924
Tippah66917
Attala65925
Walthall60026
Clay59218
Clarke58746
Hancock58222
Jasper57315
Noxubee54816
Smith53215
Calhoun51512
Tunica48615
Claiborne46316
Montgomery46120
Lawrence43313
Yalobusha43314
Perry42319
Humphreys37715
Greene37517
Quitman3735
Stone37112
Jefferson Davis34111
Webster33813
Amite32910
Carroll31612
Wilkinson30518
Kemper28915
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2263
Franklin1923
Choctaw1856
Issaquena1043
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19572348
Mobile13320292
Montgomery8811183
Tuscaloosa8586117
Madison782078
Shelby592349
Lee588759
Baldwin545650
Marshall393343
Calhoun349942
Etowah343945
Morgan327328
Houston280221
Elmore265947
DeKalb240620
St. Clair230835
Walker230683
Talladega214628
Limestone208820
Cullman189020
Dallas178326
Franklin176729
Autauga175725
Russell17573
Lauderdale169833
Colbert164126
Blount160815
Escambia160324
Chilton156431
Jackson156011
Covington138527
Dale135844
Coffee13206
Pike119410
Chambers116142
Tallapoosa115685
Clarke108916
Marion95729
Butler91639
Barbour8737
Winston73812
Marengo71620
Pickens65614
Lowndes65327
Bibb65210
Randolph64213
Hale63428
Lawrence61623
Geneva6074
Cherokee60313
Bullock59914
Monroe5848
Clay5797
Washington55613
Perry5416
Crenshaw53632
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry4935
Macon48119
Fayette4508
Sumter43519
Lamar3662
Cleburne3646
Choctaw34912
Greene30315
Coosa1683
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Columbus
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather