Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida weighed in on missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday and said America’s reputation on human rights supersedes any deals with Saudi Arabia
Rubio was asked how further probing of Khashoggi’s disappearance might affect the $110 billion arms deal America has with the Saudis and he said the deal is worth sacrificing. (RELATED: Marco Rubio Says He Won’t Tank Economy Over Climate Change Fears)
“Well, I can tell you that human rights is worth blowing that up,” Rubio told host Alisyn Camerota. “And luring someone into a consulate where they’re thereby murdered, dismembered and disposed of is a big deal.”
“By the way, this happens to be a green card holder of the United States who has been a journalist, but he could’ve been a maintenance worker at The Washington Post, it wouldn’t have mattered,” he continued. “It’s a human being whose life was taken by a direct act of a foreign government by luring him into a diplomatic facility in a third country. I mean, any one of those factors is bad, put them all together and it’s catastrophic.”
Rubio also claimed there are other countries America can sell their arms to, but said these deals are worth discussing because it gives the U.S. “leverage” over Saudi Arabia and other countries that use our technology.
“As far as arms sales are concerned, it’s not the money. You know, there’re other countries we could sell that to. It’s just not the money. The arms sales does give us leverage over a country,” Rubio declared. “When they have our weapon systems they need our maintenance, they need our replacement equipment and the like and that gives us leverage over their behavior.”
That’s why we are talking about arms sales now because it’s leverage. But they’ll buy those weapons from someone else. But I don’t care how much money it is. There isn’t enough money in the world to purchase back our credibility on human rights and the way nations should conduct themselves. We lose our credibility and our moral standing to criticize [Russian President Vladimir] Putin for murdering people, [Syrian President Bashar] Assad for murdering people, [President Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela for murdering people, we can’t say anything about that if we allow Saudi Arabia to do it and all we do is a diplomatic slap on the wrist.
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