CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed House leaders on Wednesday about the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, as the Senate prepares for a possible vote on two measures that would admonish Saudi Arabia for its role in the slaying.
The closed-door meeting, which was attended by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi among others, comes a day before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are to brief the full House on the killing.
Dan Drezner, professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a regular contributor to the Washington Post, joined Fox News Radio's Marie Harf to discuss Saudi Arabia and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's interview with Fox and Friends.
On Trump's response to Khashoggi killing: When it comes to Donald Trump and the truth we get to a very post modern level very quickly. In the sense of whenever Trump is asked about this he always says, 'Well who knows what's true and what's not.' What is interesting is both Pompeo and Mattis have essentially adopted the Trump line on this. (2:27)
On if there is a way to punish the Saudis more without severing relations: What's odd about this administration is, say what you want about the Trump administration, they've never been shy about coercing or criticizing allies. They've done it on NAFTA. They've done it with NATO. They've done it with Japan and South Korea. You name an ally and by and large this administration has been perfectly willing to try to exercise leverage over them to extract a better deal. The two exceptions are Israel and Saudi Arabia... One of the classic misunderstandings of this administration is that Saudi Arabia needs the United States a heck of a lot more than the United States needs Saudi Arabia. At exactly the moment you would want the Trump administration to start applying some pressure to an ally is the one moment they're resistant to do it. (7:38)
On if the U.S. Congress can influence Trump administration policy on Yemen: I think it's definitely a possibility. First of all, it should be noted that it's not going to happen within this lame duck term of Congress because the House today voted on a separate bill that managed to squelch any debate on Yemen. (9:45)
On what he looking toward for Trump's foreign policy legacy: The only things he probably possibly get through are the renegotiated trade deals with both Korea and sort of NAFTA two. (11:38)