Members of Congress were out in force Sunday weighing in on Saudi Arabia's "fist fight" explanation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. And while they were united in varying degrees of skepticism about Riyadh's story, lawmakers did not put forward a unified theory of how to respond.
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) labeled the Saudi account "insulting," arguing no one "analyzing this with any type of intelligent background" would believe "a fist fight led to a dismemberment with a bone saw."
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) October 21, 2018
He argued for a broad rethinking of U.S.-Saudi relations, including arms sales, over Khashoggi, the war in Yemen, and Riyadh's record on religious liberty.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on CNN explicitly accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of involvement.
GOP Sen. Bob Corker says he thinks Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince was behind the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “Do I think he did it? Yes, I think he did it. Let’s finish this investigation” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/e0qv5dKie4
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 21, 2018
On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on NBC the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. should be expelled until the matter is settled.
THIS MORNING: Sen. Dick Durbin calls for Saudi ambassador to the United States to be expelled after Khashoggi killing. #MTP@DickDurbin: Saudi Crown Prince "has his fingerprints all over this" pic.twitter.com/MDE2c3EsEu
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 21, 2018
And Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on ABC called for an inquiry into whether President Trump's financial ties to Saudi Arabia could be influencing his changeable response to Khashoggi's death.
Rep. Adam Schiff says we "ought to determine whether financial motives are motiving the president and the first family" when it comes to U.S.-Saudi policy.
"This is the very problem with the president not releasing his tax returns," he adds https://t.co/DXjPZOxcPQ #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/5XEzCcrYOB
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 21, 2018