US senator lashes out at Saudi crown prince

ISTANBUL (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says he believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had a U.S.-based journalist “murdered” in the Saudi consulate in Turkey and has “tainted” his country as a result.

The influential Republican and ally of President Donald Trump says the crown prince “has got to go.” Graham says he will not return to Saudi Arabia while the prince is in power.

Graham says he has been the “biggest defender” of the kingdom, but that he now plans to “sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia.”

The senator spoke Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.” He cited published reports that Prince Mohammed had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, and that an intelligence official who was a friend of the crown prince had killed the journalist.

Khashoggi vanished after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Turkey has said it fears Khashoggi was killed by a Saudi hit team. Saudi Arabia has denied that, but published reports have said the kingdom may be preparing to acknowledge killing the journalist during an interrogation gone wrong.