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Corker Say Trump Has ‘Clamped Down’ on Sharing Saudi Intel With Congress

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that the Trump administration is severely restricting access to information about missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Washington Post that the administration had “clamped down” on sharing intelligence Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2nd.

The restrictions on information sharing came as President Trump has taken the side of top Saudi officials and has denied all wrong doing.

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Corker was quoted by the Post as saying, “I can only surmise that probably the intel is not painting a pretty picture as it relates to Saudi Arabia.”

Corker also said that Trump administration officials have canceled a scheduled intelligence briefing. Corker said that he was also told that additional information about Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia would not be shared with the Senate at this time. The Tennessee senator said this new development was “disappointing.”

Since the Senate is on a month-long recess Corker and his colleagues have had little to say this week as the Khashoggi drama plays out on the world stage.

Corker told reporters late last week that “everything indicates” that Khashoggi was murdered by the Saudis.

On Wednesday he told the Post that, based on the intelligence he had been able to review previously, “everything points … to MBS,” he said referring to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“This could not have happened without his approval,” Corker made clear.

Turkey says they have an audio recording proving that Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate and told The New York Times on Wednesday that he was dismembered shortly after entering the consulate.

Saudi Arabia has denied all wrongdoing, and they have been backed up by President Trump,who has said they should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

On Wednesday Trump said he has requested audio and video recordings from Turkey that relate to Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“We have asked for [the recording], if it exists,” Trump said in the Oval Office, later adding that it “possibly does.”

 

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