Republican Senators Doubt Saudi Arabia’s Account Of Jamal Khashoggi’s Death

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the journalist’s killing.

Republican senators on Sunday threw cold water on Saudi Arabia’s shifting explanations for journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, calling for significant action to be taken against the kingdom if the Saudi crown prince is found responsible.

Saudi Arabia, which initially denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s Oct. 2 disappearance, claimed last week that The Washington Post columnist had been strangled in a fistfight with 15 men sent to confront him at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), during an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said Saudi Arabia had “lost all credibility as it relates to explaining what happened” to Khashoggi.

“I don’t think anybody believes that story,” said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “It’s just not credible.”

Corker, who met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, told CNN that he believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is often referred to as MBS, was involved in Khashoggi’s killing. 

“Obviously, if [MBS] has gone forth and murdered this journalist, he’s now crossed the line, and there has to be a punishment and a price paid for that,” Corker said. “Do I think he did it? Yeah. I think he did it.”

State of the Union ✔@CNNSotu

.@SenBobCorker on the Crown Prince: "Obviously if he's gone forth and murdered this journalist, he's now crossed the line, and ther

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Sen Lindsey Graham says Mohammed bin Salman had Khashoggi murdered

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Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday blasted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the putative leader of Saudi Arabia, over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, calling him "a wrecking ball" who had the missing journalist "murdered."

"This guy is a wrecking ball, he had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused," the South Carolina Republican said on "Fox and Friends.

Graham, who had previously been a staunch defender of Saudi Arabia, did not provide any evidence to support his claim.

Graham urged President Donald Trump to "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" and said the crown prince, who is often referred to by the initials MBS, has "gotta go."

"We deal with bad people all the time, but this is in our face. I feel personally offended. They have nothing but contempt," he said.

Graham then turned to the camera and said, "Saudi Arabia, if you're listening, there are a lot of good people you could choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself."

Graham's comments come just a day after NBC News, citing three people with knowledge of the situation, reported that Saudi Arabia's government is discussing a plan to admit that Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to two of the individuals, the Saudis are putting together an explanation that would absolve the crown prince of responsibility by giving him plausible deniability to say he didn't order the killing and didn't know about it.

A spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the discussions.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and critic of the government who wrote for The Washington Post, vanished on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, triggering a major diplomatic crisis for the kingdom.

Turkish authorities have told U.S. officials that they have recordings from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that provide evidence that the missing journalist was killed inside.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman and bin Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday to disc

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Trumps trade war is starting to whack car companies like Ford Honda and BMW

President Donald Trump's tariffs are starting to weigh on the the world's largest automakers. BMW, Ford, and Honda have all issued warnings about the tariffs' impact on their businesses over the last few days. The pain could get worse, as the Trump administration is still mulling tariffs on imported cars.

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Evidence is mounting that automakers are taking a hit from President Donald Trump's tariffs, and the car companies say the worst may be yet to come.

Large automakers including Ford, Honda, and BMW say they are all reeling from the effects of the tit-for-tat tariffs between the US and China, as well as Trump's tariffs on all steel and aluminum tariffs coming into the US.

The latest example came from Ford, which announced last week that it would be forced to lay off employees as it cuts costs. Some of the impetus for the layoffs is a restructuring program the company is undertaking, but recent sales woes in China and increased material costs are also driving some of the automaker's pain.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett told an audience at a Bloomberg conference that the steel and aluminum tariffs will cost the company $1 billion in 2018 and 2019.

"From Ford’s perspective the metals tariffs took about $1 billion in profit from us," Hackett said. "The irony of which is we source most of that in the US today anyway. If it goes on any longer, it will do more damage."

Sales of Ford cars in China have also tanked in 2018 — the company reported a 43% decline for the month of September compared to the same month in 2017, as well as a 30% fall during the first nine months of the year compared to the same time period in 2017. 

BMW is facing similar problems

BMW, which produces its X3 and X5 SUVs at a plant in Greer, South Carolina, is dealing with similar Chinese sales woes because of the trade war.

The South Carolina-made BMW models are hugely popular in China but are also now subject to retaliatory tariffs from the Chinese government that came in response to Trump's duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

It appears the tariffs are slowing down BMW's exports, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.  Auto e

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Donald Trump Denies Making Charity Pledge Tied To Elizabeth Warren DNA Test

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Now that the senator has released evidence of her Native American heritage, the president seems to have forgotten his pledge.

Another day, another broken promise from President Donald Trump.

Trump said in July that he would donate $1 million to any charity selected by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) if she took a DNA test proving she had a Native American ancestor. (Here he is saying that on video.) 

Warren did just that on Monday, releasing the results of a test that “strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor” six to 10 generations ago. Her charity of choice: the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, a nonprofit that seeks to protect native women from domestic violence. 

Instead of making good on the deal, however, Trump denied ever making the offer: 

Trump tries to claim that he never offered to donate a million dollars if Elizabeth Warren took a DNA rest.

But he did:

Kyle Griffin‏Verified account @kylegriffin1 

10:10 AM - Oct 15, 2018

The president told reporters at the White House on Monday that he never offered to donate the $1 million and dismissed the test results themselves.

“Who cares?” he asked rhetorically. 

If anyone should care, it’s Trump. The president has frequently mocked Warren for claiming she has an Native American ancestor and demeaningly has referred to her as “Pocahontas” ― even at an event honoring the efforts of Native Americans in World War II.

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center joins a long list of causes and nonprofits Trump has used as a prop but not contributed to. New York state tax officials opened an investigation into the Trump Foundation in July, accusing Trump of misusing charitable funds for decidedly noncharitable purposes, such as spending $10,000 on a portrait of himself and covering campaign costs. Read more:

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