U.S. senators pledge to push for stronger response to Khashoggi killing

U.S. Republican and Democratic senators pledged to push the White House for a stronger response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Officials of the State and Treasury Departments held a closed-door meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday evening, but congressmen said they learned nothing new about the murder, Reuters said.

“It was a complete waste of time. I knew more than they did,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters. He said it was time for more action, but did not give further details.

Bob Menendez, a Democratic senator, said the United States should impose new sanctions unless it believes the murder of Khashoggi was an acceptable action.

“I think the Senate’s going to have to act unless it is willing to accept the death of a U.S. resident journalist as an acceptable action because of a broader relationship. I don’t accept that,” the news agency quoted Menendez as saying.

The Trump administration missed a February deadline to report to Congress on the death of Khashoggi, who was last seen alive walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. U.S. lawmakers last year triggered a law to require the administration investigate the killing.

Saudi Arabia has charged 11 suspects with the murder, accusing them of acting without authority and strongly denying accusations that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination.

The murder has further strained ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which are already at odds over a number of regional issues such as Syria and Iran, and Ankara’s backing for Qatar.