Rand Paul Calls On Congress To Halt Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia Over Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance

Hanna Bogorowski | Reporter

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky expressed concern for the missing Saudi Washington Post contributor and called on Congress to halt arms sales and military support to the Saudi regime.

Jamal Khashoggi, also a U.S. resident, disappeared on Oct. 2 after going into a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, for administrative documents. His fiancee says she waited 11 hours outside for him, but he never came out.

Turkish officials have since reported that they believe a team of 15 people arrived from Saudi Arabia as part of a pre-planned mission to murder Khashoggi, a dissident journalist who often writes critically of the regime.

“I am heartened to see others coming to see the abuses of the Saudi regime,” Paul tweeted Wednesday.

“Unfortunately that’s not enough,” he added.

Paul, who also sits on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, called on committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee to halt arms sales and military support to the Saudis. (RELATED: US Increasingly Concerned About Missing WaPo Journalist Jamal Khashoggi)

U.S. officials have expressed increasing concern in recent days over the whereabouts of Khashoggi. President Donald Trump’s administration’s relatively close relationship with Saudi Arabia will be under scrutiny to actually follow through on said concerns and to pressure the Saudi government on the validity of Turkish reports that Saudi officials murdered Khashoggi.

Multiple reports released Wednesday further suggest Saudi agents abducted and murdered Khashoggi inside the consulate, an order officials say came from the highest levels of the kingdom’s leadership.

Khashoggi was reportedly murdered within two hours of arriving at the consulate. Turkish officials told The New York Times Tuesday that his body was dismembered with a bone saw.

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

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