Ernst: Trump Needs to Tell Saudis 'Enough Is Enough'

Representative Adam Schiff has hit out at Donald Trump's support for Saudi Arabia, arguing that authoritarian leaders and despots will see the president's response to the high profile murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as giving them a pass. "Strength is telling the truth even when it's hard".

Other Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Bob Corker, have been unsparing in their assessments of Saudi Arabia's involvement in Khashoggi's killing. "It's inconsistent with the intelligence I've seen", said Lee.

Prior to his death, Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in September 2017, saying Saudi Arabia "banned him from Twitter".

The United States on November 15 imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials for their role in the killing of Khashoggi and senators from both major USA parties introduced legislation that would suspend weapon sales to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi and for its role in Yemen's civil war.

In an open letter to Tunisia's presidency, the journalists' union slammed "the visit of the Saudi crown prince, which constitutes a danger for the safety and the peace of the region and the world, and a real threat to freedom of expression".

The Saudi journalist, who was a US resident and contributor to The Post, was killed and allegedly dismembered with a bonesaw by a team of Saudi agents after he entered the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

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Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, also disputed Trump's equivocation on whether the crown prince had knowledgeable of the Khashoggi killing.

FILE - Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, returns to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing after a break on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.

I think this is yet another indication that this unauthorized, unconstitutional war - from our standpoint - is not something that we ought to be fighting.

"I don't know why [Trump] is siding with the Saudis but I think there are things we can to change our relationship with the Saudis ― not withstanding whatever his personal motivations might be", Lee told NBC.

I'm also certain that in the next Congress, people will look into that. "We need to understand where the investigations are leading to us and I'm anxious to hear from a number of our intelligence agencies on this". Trump, in his statement, adamantly rejected any type of sanctions against the Saudi government, asserting that it is unclear exactly what happened with Khashoggi and that the U.S.' alliance with Saudi Arabia is too important economically and militarily to jeopardize. "And if there are indicators coming from those intelligence agencies, he also needs to be involved in some sort of action".

  • Sonia Alvarado