Corker calls Trump's loyalty to Saudi Arabia 'un-American'

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The retiring chairman said he is also working with leadership to craft a more symbolic measure that would condemn the killing of Khashoggi, though the extent to which it would mention the Crown Prince, known by his initials MBS, was not yet clear.

This resolution follows a closed-door briefing that was held in Washington, DC on December 4, when CIA Director Gina Haspel met with a handful of senators and discussed the Central Intelligence Agency's investigation of Khashoggi's death.

A similar position has been voiced by US President Donald Trump.

As previously reported, Khashoggi was a journalist that often wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for The Washington Post.

The Saudi prince is facing continuing pressure over the October 2 killing of the journalist inside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul. The journalist, who had lived in the United States and wrote for The Washington Post, had been critical of the Saudi regime.

A group of Republican and Democratic senators defied the White House on Wednesday and introduced a resolution that would hold Saudi Arabia's crown prince accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey after arriving for routine paperwork in preparation to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Saudi Arabia has already detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five.

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The measure also cites the initial insistence from Saudi officials that Khashoggi had left the consulate unharmed - statements that proved to be false. The president has said he is not certain that MBS killed Khashoggi, and his secretaries of Defense and State told reporters last week that there is no definitive proof the Saudi crown prince is to blame.

US lawmakers' unease over Saudi actions had been simmering for years as the civilian death toll in Yemen rose ever higher, but the Khashoggi killing appears to have intensified revulsion and anger toward the kingdom.

A previous Associated Press analysis of federal data found that MIT is among 37 US universities that received $350 million from the Saudi government over the last decade.

Meanwhile, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Khalid bin Salman, the brother of MBS, has returned to Washington after leaving the USA capital in the wake of the murder of Khashoggi, an official said Wednesday.

"His Royal Highness the Ambassador is in Washington" embassy spokeswoman Fatimah Baeshen told AFP.

The preliminary report, which was sent to the MIT community on Thursday, acknowledges "the large-scale violations of political, civil and human rights" in Saudi Arabia, but concludes that withdrawing from partnerships would have little effect on the Middle East government.

She did not add whether al-Jubeir would meet with administration officials during his stay.

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