October 18, 2018


Khashoggi Crisis Widens Trump Rift With Congress on Saudi Arabia (Toluse Olorunnipa  and Daniel Flatley, October 18, 2018, Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump is facing increased pressure from Congress over his handling of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, exposing a widening rift between the White House and Capitol Hill over the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Lawmakers from Trump's own party, including the president's ally Senator Lindsey Graham, are openly voicing their discontent and threatening to sanction the Saudi government over the objections of the president, who has sought to build a closer relationship with Riyadh.

The stark differences underscore that Saudi Arabia enjoys far greater respect in the Oval Office than in the Capitol. Many lawmakers harbor a distrust of the kingdom dating back to its connection to the Sept. 11 attacks. Its bloody involvement in Yemen's civil war and interference in Lebanese politics have cost it further U.S. support.

The Trump administration, meanwhile -- led by the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner -- has drawn ever closer to the Saudis as it fashions a strategy in the Mideast that revolves around the kingdom.

The saving grace of the past two years is that no one cares what Donald wants.

Posted by at October 18, 2018 4:12 AM


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