Speaking Friday at the State Department, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed the differences between the Trump Administration and Senate on Saudi Arabia, and on the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
These differences were very publicly on display ahead of this week’s Senate votes, which called for an end to US involvement in the Yemen War, and declared the Saudi Crown Prince responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Pompeo and other top officials fought vigorously against both those resolutions.
Having lost that effort, Pompeo now says the administration “understand fully their concerns,” and “have great respect” for Congress. He further tried to spin these votes, exactly the opposite of administration policy, as not far out of line with their positions.
In particular, Pompeo said Trump is also “determined” to hold the murders of Jamal Khashoggi accountable. While he has said this on occasion, he has also rejected CIA assessments blaming the crown prince, and made clear he’s not going to hold the crown prince accountable.