Cabinet members urged senators on Wednesday not to downgrade ties with Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but lawmakers from both parties said they could not turn a blind eye to reports that the country’s de facto ruler was involved in last month’s killing.
John Bolton, the influential White House national security advisor, said Tuesday he will not listen to the tape recording of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder because he doesn’t understand Arabic.
The protests were a rare occurrence for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler who faces no overt criticism at home and who received lavish receptions earlier in his tour in visits to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Hundreds of Tunisians protested on Tuesday against a visit by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, denouncing the top Saudi royal as a murderer in the second straight day of demonstrations condemning the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the crown prince, at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul six weeks ago has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West and battered Prince Mohammed’s image abroad.