Menendez: Trump making wrong calculation

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said after a CIA briefing on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi that the administration was making the "wrong calculation" in declining to blame the de facto Saudi leader.

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 4:05 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 4:16 PM

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said after a CIA briefing on murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi that the administration was making the "wrong calculation" in declining to blame the de facto Saudi leader.

"I think they're making a wrong calculation," New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez said Tuesday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Members of both parties who attended a briefing on Tuesday with CIA Director Gina Haspel left the session doubling down on their criticism of President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

The President and his top diplomatic and military Cabinet heads have dismissed notions of certainty around the Khashoggi killing and declined to blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the October slaying. CNN previously reported the CIA concluded bin Salman personally ordered the killing. The Saudis have denied bin Salman's involvement.

Outgoing Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the GOP chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after the briefing that bin Salman "ordered" and "monitored" Khashoggi's murder.

Menendez, in his CNN interview, said Trump, Pompeo and Mattis were "all toeing the same line" and wrongly assuming it was in the strategic benefit of the US -- including on Iran and global oil prices -- to avoid blaming the Saudi crown prince.

"They're all in with the crown prince," Menendez said. "They think that it's strategic to the administration's views."

But Menendez contended that Saudi Arabia would remain opposed to Iran and rely on US weapons systems in any event. He said both he and Corker had called for a determination under the Global Magnitsky Act on whether to push sanctions on bin Salman directly and called for the US to send "a very strong message" to the Saudi king about bin Salman.

He maintained the US response to the killing of a journalist and critic of the Saudi government would have implications worldwide.

"It's not just the Saudis," Menendez said. "It's also a global message."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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