LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Senator Paul has again advocated blocking U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia in light of the international controversy surrounding Saudi Arabia and late journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was last seen on Oct. 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He never came out. Early Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said preliminary investigations showed an “altercation” and “fistfight” that led to Khashoggi’s death shortly after he arrived at the consulate, the Associated Press reports.
The explanation of his death has been met with skepticism in the United States and abroad. Khashoggi was a vocal critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“That’s why I think we cannot continue to have relations with him [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman], and so I think he’s going to have to be replaced, frankly, but I think that sanctions don’t go far enough,” Paul said on Fox News Sunday. “I think we need to look at the arms sales, because this is not just about this journalist being killed, it’s about the war in Yemen where tens and thousands of civilians are being killed.”
“The Saudis have not acted as our friend and they need to change their behavior,” Paul continued.
Paul is in favor of blocking U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia; President Trump has said doing so would cost the United States hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“I think if we were to have a vote in the next couple of weeks on to whether or not to sell arms to Saudi Arabia we would win overwhelmingly,” Paul said, when asked if his legislation to block the arms sales would pass.
“With regard to jobs,” Paul said, “I don’t ever think arms should be seen as a jobs program.”
Sen. Paul introduced legislation on Oct. 11 to cut off U.S. military aid and assistance to Saudi Arabia until the U.S. determined what happened to the Washington Post journalist.
Paul previously led multiple efforts to block U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia--and forced Senate votes on the issue--in September 2016 and June 2017.
Turkey has said it will announce the details of its probe into Khashoggi’s death on Tuesday.