Senate defies Trump, shows anger with Saudis for Khashoggi
Defying President Donald Trump, senators sent a strong signal Wednesday they want to punish Saudi Arabia for its role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. By a bipartisan 63-37, the Senate voted to move forward with legislation calling for an end to U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
The vote was a rebuke not only to Saudi Arabia but also to Trump’s administration, which has made clear it does not want to torpedo the longstanding U.S. relationship with Riyadh over the killing.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis both came to Capitol Hill to urgently lobby against the resolution, which would call for an end to U.S. military assistance for the conflict that human rights advocates say is wreaking havoc on Yemen and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing.
The vote showed a significant number of Republicans were willing to break with Trump to express their deep dissatisfaction with Saudi Arabia and with the U.S. response to Khashoggi’s brutal killing in Turkey last month.