LEXINGTON, KY (WAVE) - Senator Rand Paul addressed his stance on selling arms to Saudi Arabia in light of the international controversy surrounding missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi--who is now believed to be dead.
Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
He was a vocal critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“I think this is on the crown prince’s shoulders,” Paul said. “I don’t see how we can be arming a country that has the barbarity to chop up a journalist and take him out in bags. That’s just so grotesque.”
Turkish officials had said previously that they think Khashoggi was dismembered.
Senator Paul has introduced legislation to cut off arm sales to the middle eastern country.
On Friday, the White House acknowledged reports from Saudi state-run media outlets that Khashoggi is dead. State outlets in Saudi Arabia also reported that 18 Saudi nationals were in custody on suspicion of being involved with his death, the Associated Press reports.
Saudi Arabia claims that the journalist was “killed while brawling” inside the consulate.
Paul’s comments came during a trip to Lexington on Friday.
The senator was in Lexington to tour pharmaceutical manufacturing company Summit Bio Sciences. The senator’s visit included a roundtable discussion with leaders and a tour of their labs.
Paul called it a “good news story”--Summit Bio Sciences has brought 100 jobs to the area.