- President Donald Trump reportedly believes Congress’ efforts to strip US military aid for the Saudi-led war in Yemen was meant to be a rebuke for his response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who worked for The Washington Post, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.
- In recent weeks, the House and Senate approved a resolution to end the military aid by invoking the War Powers Act.
- Trump encouraged lawmakers not to vote for the resolution, according to The Post. He issued his second-ever veto on the resolution Tuesday.
President Donald Trump believes Congress’ efforts to strip US military aid for the Saudi-led war in Yemen was meant to be a rebuke for his response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to anonymous White House officials and congressional aides cited in a Washington Post report published Tuesday.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who worked for The Post, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October 2018. US intelligence officials reportedly concluded that Saudi Arabia, which Khashoggi criticised in his columns, ordered the assassination of the journalist.
The Trump administration’s response following Khashoggi’s death was tepid, despite the intelligence from US and Turkish agencies. Although the US eventually sanctioned 17 Saudis connected to Khashoggi’s death, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who allegedly sanctioned the act, emerged unscathed.
Critics have also scrutinised the Trump administration’s friendly relationship with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi kingdom is the largest weapons customer, as noted by the Conversation, for the US and spent billions of dollars on missiles – some of which were used to kill hundreds of Yemeni civilians, The Washington Post reported in March.
Republicans and Democrats have criticised the US’s military aid to Saudi Arabia. In recent weeks, the House and Senate approved a resolution to end the military aid by invoking the War Powers Act of 1973 for the first time.
Trump encouraged lawmakers not to vote for the resolution, according to The Post.
“We’re helping a foreign power bomb its adversaries in what is undoubtedly, irrefutably, a war,” Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, a sponsor of the resolution, said last month, according to Reuters.
Trump issued his second veto during his presidency to shoot down the resolution on Tuesday.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in a statement.
Lawmakers appear to lack the two-thirds vote to override Trump’s veto. The original resolution was approved after a 247-175 vote in the House and a 54-46 vote in the Senate.
Following the decision, Democrats urged Trump to reconsider and “put peace before politics.”
“The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America’s shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis.”
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