Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker believes that the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ordered from the top; namely from direct orders from the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
“It is my thinking that MBS was involved in this, that he directed this and that this person was purposely murdered,” said Corker.
Corker is the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was referring to Khashoggi, whose death was denied for two weeks by the Saudi government before they admitted that indeed he died while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
The explanation the Saudi authorities are giving for the death of Khashoggi, whose body has not yet been recovered, is that a “fist fight” broke out during the journalist’s visit between Khashoggi and the men in the building, and he died accidentally as a result of the unplanned brawl.
Very few US officials, if any, are convinced of the truth of this story, including Senator Corker. President Trump has changed his mind a few times about the Saudi version of events, from saying on Friday night that he found the story credible; to Saturday in an interview with the Washington Post when he said ““Obviously, there’s been deception and there’s been lies. Their stories are all over the place.”
For over two weeks the Saudi government vigorously denied any knowledge of where Khashoggi might be, or that he was harmed in any way inside the consulate. Finally, after much international pressure, especially from Turkey, who could see from surveillance cameras that he did not walk out of the consulate alive, the Saudis relented and admitted that Khashoggi died in the building. Exactly how he died, however, is still far from clear.