Trump Rejects Ending Saudi Arms Sales over Journalist’s Disappearance

HeadlineOct 15, 2018
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Saudi Arabia will allow Turkey to search its consulate in Istanbul Monday afternoon, nearly two weeks after prominent journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi entered the consulate on October 2 and has not been seen since. This news comes amid mounting international demands that Saudi Arabia explain the shocking disappearance, after Turkish officials accused the Saudis of assassinating Khashoggi, dismembering him and smuggling his body parts out of the consulate. In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Trump said Saudi Arabia would suffer “severe consequences” if it was found responsible. But Trump repeatedly said over the weekend he opposes ending U.S. weapons sales to the kingdom, which he claims are worth $110 billion to U.S. companies.

President Donald Trump: “Well, there are many other things we could do. But when we take away $110 billion of purchases from our country, that hurts our workers, that hurts our factories, that hurts all of our companies. You know, you’re talking about 500,000 jobs. So, we do that, we’re really hurting our country, a lot more than we’re hurting Saudi Arabia.”

Over the weekend, Dick Durbin, the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, called on Trump to cancel the U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Some Republicans appear open to the idea. This is Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Sen. Marco Rubio: “If this is proven to be true, there is going to be a response from Congress. It’s going to be nearly unanimous, it’s going to be swift, and it’s going to go pretty far. And that could include arms sales, but it could include a bunch of other things, as well.”

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