Here's what's making headlines in the political world on Wednesday, October 17, 2018:
Trump defends Saudi Arabia as accusations mount over journalist disappearance
-- President Donald Trump has defended Saudi Arabia as accusations mount over its de facto ruler's close links to the men who apparently killed a journalist in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia has come under intense international pressure to explain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance after he visited the consulate on October 2 to obtain papers that would have allowed him to marry his Turkish fiancée.
The disappearance of Khashoggi, an insider-turned-critic of the Saudi government, has prompted international outrage and calls for punitive action against Saudi Arabia.
It has also thrown Trump's close ties with the kingdom into the spotlight as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is engaged on a tough diplomatic mission to contain the crisis.
Biden says age a "totally legitimate" question if he were to run for office again
-- Former Vice President Joe Biden said a candidate's age is a "legitimate" issue in elections -- including if he were to run for president in 2020.
"I think age is a totally legitimate thing to raise," Biden said during a question and answer session at the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan's Speaker Series Tuesday. "I think it's totally appropriate for people to look at me and say if I were to run for office again, 'Well God darn you're old.' Well chronologically I am old."
"Every voter is entitled to know exactly what kind of shape you're in. You owe it to them. It's a legitimate question and so I think age is relevant," he added.
Biden's comments came in response to a question about whether term limits or a mandatory retirement age should be implemented for members of Congress or the Supreme Court.
Biden is currently 75 years old, and if he runs for president in 2020, he would be 77 when the caucus and primary contests get underway. The potential Democratic field includes other possible contenders who would be in their seventies come 2020 -- like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, currently 77 and 69, respectively. They could face off against a crop of younger possible candidates, like Sen. Cory Booker, currently 49, and Sen. Kamala Harris, currently 53.
Julian Castro says he's "likely" to challenge Trump in 2020
-- Former Obama administration official and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said he is "likely" to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
"I'm likely to do it. I have a strong vision for the country. I believe that our country's going in the wrong direction and that it needs new leadership. I'll make a final decision after November, but I'm inclined to do it," Castro said in an interview published by Rolling Stone on Tuesday.
Castro, who was the secretary of housing and urban development during the Obama administration, has stoked speculation about his presidential ambitions in a series of public comments and with increasingly frequent travel to presidential primary states. He had been rumored to be a contender for the vice presidential spot on the 2016 Democratic ticket.
CNN reports compiled by 10News