Defense & Cyberspace

What Will Trump Do About Khashoggi? ‘Leave It Up to Congress’
President likely won’t stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia, he says

A protester dressed as Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammad bin Salman and another dressed as President Donald Trump demonstrate outside the White House last week. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will leave much of the U.S. response to the death of Jamal Khashoggi in the hands of Congress, calling Saudi Arabia’s efforts to muddy what happened to the Washington Post journalist “the worst cover-up ever.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration is revoking visas for some Saudi officials believed to be involved in Khashoggi’s death.

Democrats Press Dan Coats for Details of Trump’s Chinese Election Meddling Claims
Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee ask if intelligence community will back the president

Sen. Ron Wyden is leading a request for intelligence about Chinese election meddling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee want to know whether the actual intelligence backs up President Donald Trump’s claims of election meddling by the Chinese.

“We are writing with regard to President Trump’s most recent comments on foreign interference in U.S. elections, wrote Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Kamala Harris of California, in a letter released Tuesday addressed to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Wednesday Won’t Be Your Average Recess Hump Day
Rosenstein testimony, Senate Judiciary, Trump rally to showcase tribal warfare

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be interviewed by the leaders of two House committees on Wednesday, part of a busy time at the Capitol and White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein finally testifies. The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its autumn of discontent. And President Donald Trump will sign opioids legislation before taking his midterms road show to Wisconsin.

No, Wednesday will not be your typical recess day. Rather, it will be a cable news bonanza chronicling the country’s era of tribal political warfare.

Turkey’s Version of Khashoggi Death ‘Flies in the Face’ of Saudi Claims, Pence Says
Vice president promises an ‘American response’ once White House has all facts

People hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate on Oct. 8 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s description of a Saudi plot to kill Washington journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who died inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey, “flies in the face” of the royal family’s previous descriptions of what happened, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday.

“We will look for ways to hold accountable” those Saudis proved to be involved, Pence said.

Anti-Pork Senators Warn of Potential Return of Earmarks
Flake, McCaskill and company again call for action on legislation to formally ban practice

Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., held an event in January to demonstrate that Congress can “eat pork without spending it.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators critical of pork-barrel spending is again warning about the possible return of congressional earmarks.

The contingent of persistent critics of the earmarking process warned about talk of the return of the practice in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Vice Chairman Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont.

Trump Still ‘Not Satisfied’ With Saudi Story on Khashoggi
‘We’ll see what happens,’ the president says as he prepares to stump for onetime archrival Cruz

President Donald Trump has remained evasive on the killing of a Saudi journalist. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump says he is still “not satisfied” with the Saudi Arabian government’s explanation of what led to the death of Washington journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers are calling on Trump to punish the Saudi royal family for coaxing the self-exiled Saudi citizen to the Istanbul facility and allegedly killing him before dismembering his corpse.

GOP Congressman Floats Passing Border Wall Funding Through Budget Reconciliation
Process would allow for simple-majority vote in the Senate, but both chambers would need to pass a budget first

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., says his legislation aims to prevent Democrats from continuing to “block our efforts to build a wall along our southern border.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne announced Monday that he has introduced legislation to use the budget reconciliation process to provide for up to $25 billion for President Donald Trump to construct his border wall before the end of his first term.

The bill, co-sponsored by 15 House Republicans, would allow the GOP to pass wall funding with a simple-majority vote in the Senate by using the reconciliation process — if the measure can withstand a “Byrd bath,” the scrubbing of the bill for violations of the Senate’s reconciliation rules. 

Kushner, Pelosi Discuss MBS, Journalist Khashoggi’s Death Amid Uproar
Administration has ‘eyes wide open’ but seeks to maintain relations, Kushner says

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in the spotlight after the killing of a Saudi journalist. (Leon Neal/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration has “its eyes wide open” about what happened to a dead Washington Post columnist who was killed inside a Saudi diplomatic facility in Turkey, White House adviser Jared Kushner said Monday.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law also said he personally told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to “just to be transparent” about allegations his government ordered Saudi-born and self-exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed inside its Istanbul consulate.

Trump Ties Sinema to Schumer Even Though She Says She Won’t Support Him
Sinema and McSally face off in Toss-up Arizona Senate race for Flake’s seat

President Donald Trump arrives with Arizona Republican Senate nominee Martha McSally for a rally in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, rallying in Arizona on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally, sought to tie her Democratic opponent Kyrsten Sinema, to Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer even though Sinema said she won’t support him.

A vote for Sinema is “dangerous” because “it’s for Schumer, crying Chuck,” Trump told rallygoers Friday night at an airport hangar in Mesa. 

Trump Calls Saudis’ Khashoggi Admission ‘Good First Step’
Kingdom says dissident journalist was killed in “fistfight” at Istanbul consulate

A person dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and another dressed as President Donald Trump demonstrate with members of the group Code Pink outside the White House on Oct. 19 to protest the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia’s admission that a prominent dissident journalist died at its consulate in Turkey and the announcement that the kingdom has fired five top officials and arrested 18 unnamed individuals in conjunction with its investigation “a good first step.”

His comments came after Saudi Arabia said Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a “fistfight” at its consulate in Istanbul, the first time it has acknowledged his death. 

Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders
Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview with House Judiciary and Oversight committee leaders on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.

3 Ways Congress Can Punish Saudi Arabia
Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murder prompts bipartisan calls for action

Saudi officials arrive at the White House on March 20 ahead of a visit by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill from Republicans and Democrats alike to impose stiff penalties on Saudi Arabia for its suspected murder of a prominent dissident journalist, as new gruesome details were leaked by Turkish intelligence on Wednesday.

The growing congressional outrage over the reported torture, beheading and dismemberment two weeks ago of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is diametrically opposed to the signals coming from President Donald Trump, who has criticized the rush to judge the kingdom. A columnist for The Washington Post, Khashoggi was a resident of Virginia.

Jack Reed Talks Tough on Saudi Arabia Arms Sales
Key Dem on Khashoggi killing: ‘This outrageous act can’t be followed by a business-as-usual arms deal’

Earlier this year, Sen. Jack Reed joined Republicans in killing a push to end U.S aid to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Now he’s striking a different tone. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. military should stop refueling Saudi Arabian aircraft fighting in Yemen and Congress should not approve any new offensive arms sales to Riyadh, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee told reporters Wednesday.

Jack Reed of Rhode Island also told a Defense Writers Group breakfast that a multinational, independent criminal probe should be launched to investigate the disappearance and alleged murder earlier this month of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Donald Trump Complains Saudis Are ‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent’ on Khashoggi
President compares to Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process

President Donald Trump, seen here meeting with Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in the Oval Office at the White House, has defended the Saudis as accusations of their role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi mount. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Trump Signals He Doesn’t Believe Saudi Rulers Involved in Journalist’s Death
Tweet follows conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House in March 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signaled he doesn’t believe Saudi rulers were involved in the suspected murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi after a telephone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate,” Trump tweeted. “He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo … during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly.”