WASHINGTON — A Utah Republican senator on Sunday said he was “certain” the next Congress will look into President Donald Trump’s ties to Saudi Arabia after the President signaled he would not punish the Saudi crown prince over the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“Look, I don’t know why he’s siding with the Saudis, but I think there are things we can do to change our relationship with the Saudis notwithstanding whatever his personal motivations might be,” Sen. Mike Lee said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’m also certain in the next Congress people will look into that.”
“But again, I think Congress has to take some ownership of US foreign policy,” he continued.
California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is expected to chair the House Intelligence Committee in January, said previously that House Democrats would probe the Khashoggi killing and Trump’s comments around it.
He said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he believed the President was not telling the truth about Khashoggi’s death.
After international pressure, Saudi officials admitted last month the death of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was a premeditated murder.
Trump last week released a statement subtitled “America First!” in response to the incident that called Khashoggi’s murder “terrible” but declared Saudi Arabia “a great ally”
When asked who should be held responsible for Khashoggi’s murder during a press gaggle on Thanksgiving, Trump answered “maybe the world.”
“Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place,” he said.
Lee said Sunday the President’s response to Saudi Arabia has been “inconsistent” with the intelligence he’s seen.
“I disagree with the President’s assessment. It’s inconsistent with the intelligence I’ve seen. Now, look, I don’t have access to everything that the President sees — I’m not sure what he’s relying on. The intelligence I’ve seen suggests that this was ordered by the crown prince.”