Rand: Strip Saudi Funding Until We Find Out What Happened to Khashoggi

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Posted: Oct 12, 2018 10:05 AM
Rand: Strip Saudi Funding Until We Find Out What Happened to Khashoggi

Turkey has concluded that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate. Khashoggi was last seen on October 2 walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Cameras caught him walking in, but there's no video of him leaving. The Saudis, however, insists Khashoggi left the premises.

Khashoggi, a Virginia resident, had entered the consulate for paperwork for his upcoming wedding. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, does not believe the Saudis and sent an emotional plea to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to help her find out what happened to her would-be husband.

“We are in contact with her now," Trump said this week. "And we want to bring her to the White House. It's very sad situation. It's a very bad situation. And we want to get to the bottom of it.”

Khashoggi was a Washington Post contributor who often criticized the Saudi government, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) say the U.S. needs to take swift action and strip Saudi Arabia of military aid. Some Democrats also want to see an end to the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Trump isn't convinced, though, noting that if we stop arms sales to the Saudis, they will seek funding from other nations, which doesn't help us.

"I think that would be hurting us," Trump said. "We have jobs. We have a lot of things happening in this country. We have a country that's probably doing better economically than its ever done before. A part of that is what we're doing with our defense system and everybody's wanting them, and frankly, I think that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country."

Still, Trump has urged Riyadh to investigate the journalist's disappearance and said his administration will be releasing a report "soon."