Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that he disagrees with President Donald Trump's efforts to force through a multi-billion dollar election to Saudi Arabia and criticize the administration for doing business as usual with the kingdom.
Graham, representing South Carolina and generally seen as a close-knit by the president, made the comments during an interview on Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
Although he said he agreed with Trump's decision to take a tough stance on Iran and send more troops to the Middle East, Graham said he did not endorse the administration's position on Saudi Arabia.
"The real problem we go back to doing business as usual with Saudi Arabia," Graham Wallace told. He then spoke favorably about other Middle Eastern nations such as Jordan and the United Arab Emirates before reminding Fox News viewers that Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was probably behind the pork murder of the American residence and journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. ” title=””/>
"Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, but the Crown Prince was, in my opinion, involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and he has done many other disturbing things, "explained the GOP Senator. "So I don't support the arms sale [to Saudi Arabia] now." However, Graham said he supported the Trump administration's decision to send 1,500 extra troops to the region as a deterrent to Iran.
Last week Trump declared an emergency in an attempt to bypass the congress and push through the controversial arms sale to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern allies. State Secretary Mike Pompeo said that $ 8.1bn The agreement would help the kingdom and other allies to deter Iran and defend itself.
Although Graham has generally been seen as one of Trump's most loyal supporters in Congress, Republican politicians have severely criticized the administration's approach to Saudi Arabia following the killing of Khashoggi last October. The Saudi journalist, who had fled the kingdom, feared for his security, was murdered by a team of Saudi agents as he entered the Kingdom Consulate in Istanbul. The killing team then continued to chop its body with a bone sap before they quickly left Turkey and returned to Saudi Arabia.
"You must be intentionally blind not to come to the conclusion that this was organized by humans under the command of [bin Salman]" added Graham, who later suggests that the Trump administration intentionally showed a misleading tale of the murder .