Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had to be involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Host John Berman played a clip of President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying there is no definitive link between Salman and the Khashoggi killing.
“Senator, are they being straight with us?” Berman asked. (RELATED: Marco Rubio Says America’s Reputation On ‘Human Rights’ Should Trump Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia)
“I think they’re frankly carrying out the policy of the administration. Let me put it to you this way: We don’t need smoking gun evidence. This is not a criminal trial,” Rubio said.
“We know more than enough just from what you know and what everybody knows regarding what is happening in Saudi Arabia … Who these people were and what happened to conclude that he had to know about it and he was involved in it. I mean Saudi Arabia is not some decentralized government that operates with all sorts of people acting independently. Everything there is very tightly controlled.”
Berman asked if America had begun setting any limits on its alliance with Saudi Arabia. Rubio said they have, but that it’s likely taken place in private. He then called for more public action and said America needs to speak out about Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights.
“Privately we probably have,” Rubio replied. “I’m pretty confident. I don’t know that for sure, but I believe we have based on what I know. I do think there needs to be some public actions taken as a result of this. Things cannot continue the way they are. And I detailed last week on a floor speech very specific asks and things that we should be asking for. And it ranges from human rights issues, such as freeing women that have been taken prisoner for political reasons … going beyond it. I think there are other things that we should consider, that 1-2-3 agreements should be postponed on nuclear energy and enrichment.”
“There are all sorts of things that we can do to make clear that this can’t continue to happen. Otherwise, he’s going to continue to get more reckless and continue to push more boundaries. He’s going to frankly pull us into a war one day with some recklessness,” he concluded.
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