WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism, on Wednesday made the following statement on the United Nations report that Saudi Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman delivered spyware to the mobile phone of Amazon’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos in an effort to influence, if not silence, the Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia:
“We already knew Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and now it appears he was personally involved in the hacking of Jeff Bezos and possibly other U.S. citizens. The extent of the Saudi campaign targeting Khashoggi and their efforts to discredit coverage afterwards leads me to be seriously concerned about the Kingdom’s continuous, broader intimidation campaign against its perceived opponents, as well as the unconstrained use of spyware by autocratic governments. When dictators see no consequences for such actions, it’s a greenlight to target anyone else they perceive to be a threat—including Americans,” said Murphy. “I will be writing a letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation asking them to investigate if Mohamed bin Salman or other Saudi officials illegally accessed Mr. Bezos’ phone, or the devices of other U.S. citizens or U.S. government officials. Given reports that Jared Kushner also frequently uses WhatsApp to communicate with Mohamed bin Salman, I have serious concerns for the massive national security vulnerabilities of that relationship.”
Following the murder of Khashoggi, Murphy reiterated his call for the suspension of military support for the Saudi-led campaign in a Washington Post op-ed.
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