The Latest: Pompeo to defend role in Yemen before senators
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on senators’ closed-door briefing with top Trump administrations over the U.S. response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (all times local):
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) is defending the U.S. role in Yemen in excerpts of prepared remarks he’s expected to deliver to members of the Senate.
Pompeo says U.S. involvement in the conflict is central to the Trump administration’s broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East.
A Saudi-led coalition is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. In remarks prepared for Wednesday, Pompeo says, “The first mission is to assist the Saudis and the Emiratis in their fight against Iranian-backed Houthi fighters. This conflict isn’t optional for Saudi Arabia, and abandoning it puts American interests at risk.”
Senators are set to question top Trump administration officials at a closed-door briefing about the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia over the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).
Senators are set to question top Trump administration officials at a closed-door briefing about the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia over the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
The briefing could determine how far Congress goes in punishing the longtime U.S. ally in the Mideast.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says “some kind of response” is needed from the United States for the Saudis’ role in the gruesome death. President Donald Trump has equivocated over who is to blame.
Much will depend on what senators hear from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman must have at least known about the plan to kill Khashoggi last month at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.