Nov 25, 2018

Congressmen who've seen classified intel dispute Trump on Khashoggi killing

Photo: Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images

Lawmakers Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) all disagree with President Trump's assertion that the CIA has not concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: These lawmakers are in positions to have seen the CIA's final report on the situation surrounding Khashoggi — Schiff, the incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman; Reed, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee; and Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Trump said on Thanksgiving, however, that the CIA did not come to a conclusion, discrediting the final report that said with "high confidence" MBS was involved with the murder.

  • Sen. Jack Reed said Trump is lying: "The CIA concluded that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia was directly involved in the assassination of Khashoggi. ... The notion that they didn't reach a conclusion is just unsubstantiated."
  • Sen. Mike Lee said he disagrees with Trump's assessment: "I don't have access to everything the president sees ... the intelligence I've seen suggests this was ordered by the crown prince. ... I don't know why he [Trump] is siding with the Saudis."
  • Rep. Adam Schiff said Trump "is not being honest with the country:" "It means our allies don't respect us, our enemies don't fear us; what is driving this, I don't know."

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

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President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.