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Nikki Haley: We can not give Saudi Arabia a pass on Khashoggi

"The whole situation with Khashoggi is, we can not give them a passport. We can not," Haley said in an…

“The whole situation with Khashoggi is, we can not give them a passport. We can not,” Haley said in an interview with The Atlantic Magazine, conducted on Wednesday and released Friday. “The matter is that you have Saudi government officials who did it in a Saudi consulate. The Saudi government is not allowed a pass. We can not tolerate it, we can never say that’s okay, we can never support Haley said.

Haley acknowledged that the United States had imposed sanctions on Saudi individuals alleged to be involved in the death of the dissident journalist, but said that the United States had to keep pushing back until it was fully accountable. Asked specifically whether the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had to be held accountable, said Haley “the administration must decide.”

“It’s his government. His government did, and so he is technically responsible. “

Haley’s comments are in contrast to the strong defense Trump and State Secretary Mike Pompeo has launched on the Crown Prince’s behalf. She spoke in the wake of a classified CIA briefing, from which bipartisan senators emerged as convinced of the role of the Crown Prince in the Prevented Assassination and the intention to drive management to take a tougher position.

“There is no smoking spray, there is a smoking saw,” later said Lindsey Graham, referring to allegations that the Saudi Arabian operators threw down Khashoggi’s body after killing him on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Trump and members of his administration have declined to draw a direct line from the MBS to the murder. At the end of November, Trump pronounced the Crown Prince’s debt.

“It may well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge o m this tragic event &#821

1; maybe he did it and maybe he did not! “The US president wrote. He defended the strategic importance of the American-Saudi alliance – a point that Pompeo repeated several times .

& # 39; Caterwauling & # 39;

In a Wall Street Journal prepared the day before he and Defense Secretary James Mattis informed legislators, Pompeo wrote that “The October murder of Saudi Arab Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey has increased Capitol Hill caterwauling and media pile-on. But degrading US-Saudi ties would be a serious mistake for US national security and its allies. “

Haley’s Atlantic interview highlighted the gap between her and her former former colleagues, perhaps an indication of why she decided to go down at the end of the year .

Although both Trump and Pompeo have taken action against the prince as a zero issue, where the entire future of the American Saudi alliance could be disrupted, Haley dismissed the idea that the possession of the kingdom would lead to the end of their father’s rtnership on issues like Iran and Yemen.

“Everything is not black and white. It’s the hard part,” she said. “I think the most important thing is: No, we do not condemn this: no, we will not continue to be your partners if you continue to Use Thuggish Behavior. But Do You Know What? The country is our complete partner in combating Iran and our only true partner in combating Iran, so it’s a balancing, but you have to do both. “

[19659003] CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.

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