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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Trump in the Oval Office. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool via Getty Images

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Friday dismissed the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi as "a mistake," and warned that any attempt to link Khashoggi's death to Saudi leadership is "a red line."

Why it matters: In October, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee triggered the Global Magnitsky Act, which gives President Trump 120 days "to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression." Friday is the deadline for Trump to tell the committee whether Saudi government officials should be held responsible and face sanctions for Khashoggi's death.

  • A senior administration official told CNN that Trump will not submit to the Magnitsky deadline, saying: 'The President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate."
  • However, as national security analyst Sam Vinograd points out, "this is not a run of the mill committee request." The Magnitsky Act legally requires the president to submit his determination to Congress within 120 days.

The big picture: The Trump administration has repeatedly cast doubt on claims that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered the assassination of Khashoggi, defying the reported findings of the U.S. intelligence community. The administration has sanctioned 17 people for their role in the operation, but has thus far declined to take action against senior officials in the Saudi government.

  • On Thursday, the New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence intercepted a conversation in 2017 in which MBS told a top aide that Khashoggi should be brought to Saudi Arabia by force if he does not choose to return voluntarily. If neither of those options work, MBS reportedly said he would "use a bullet" on Khashoggi.

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bill Clinton hospitalized for non-COVID-related infection

Former President Bill Clinton. Photo: Win McNamee/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Tuesday for a non-COVID-related infection, his spokesperson Angel Ureña said Thursday.

The latest: In an update on Friday, Ureña said Clinton's health indicators are "trending in the right direction, including his white blood count which has decreased significantly."

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
5 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.