Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani weighed in Wednesday on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, saying he doesn't "think that a country would dare commit such a crime without the protection of America," reports Reuters, citing Iranian state media.

The big picture: Saudi Arabia is key to the U.S. pressure campaign against Iran, a regional enemy of the Saudis and a target of some of the Trump administration's most hawkish rhetoric. As one well-wired Republican told Axios' Mike Allen, "Constraining Iran is the priority and Saudi is a critical ally in that effort. That 'trumps' the horrible human rights violation."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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Updated 2 hours ago - Health

7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Seven states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Wisconsin and Nebraska surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Problem spots are sticking in the Midwest, although the U.S. is moving in the right direction overall after massive infection spikes this summer.

Murkowski says she opposes voting on Ginsburg replacement before election

Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement Sunday that she opposes holding a Senate confirmation vote on President Trump's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Why it matters: Murkowski joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as one of two Republican senators who have thus far said that they do not support rushing through a confirmation vote before November. Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resort to holding a vote in the lame-duck session, which neither Murkowski nor Collins have addressed.