Graham: If Saudi Arabia Killed Jamal Khashoggi, It Will 'Destroy' Relationship With US
Lawmaker praises Trump after Turkey releases pastor.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said the relationship between the Untied States and Saudi Arabia would be "destroyed" if the Saudi government was involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, 59, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish officials have said that they believe Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the building by members of an elite "assassination squad." Saudi officials say Khashoggi left through an alternate exit, but have offered no proof to support that contention.
"If in fact this is true that he was abducted and killed at the direction of the Saudi government, it will destroy the relationship as we know it," Graham (R-S.C.) said on "America's Newsroom" Friday.
Graham -- who has long been an outspoken supporter of Saudi Arabia -- said he would do everything possible to punish the regime if they killed a journalist to silence his dissent.
"That would be a complete disrespect of our relationship. And I would want to make sure others understood who we are as Americans," he said.
He added that "everything is on the table," and if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in Khashoggi's disappearance, it would be impossible for him to be a "legitimate leader" on the international stage.
Graham also weighed in on the release of Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was imprisoned and then placed under house arrest in Turkey due to his alleged ties to an outlawed group.
Brunson was ordered freed on Friday and sentenced to time served, and he is expected to stop in Germany for a medical exam before returning to the U.S.
Graham said he's going to wait to celebrate until Brunson is safely back in the U.S., but he praised President Trump for being "very involved" throughout the process of securing his release.
.@LindseyGrahamSC: “I’m pleased, I’m not going to celebrate until he gets home. I want to thank the Trump administration, President Trump and Vice President Pence.” https://t.co/pRnzGflSaF pic.twitter.com/U662HgEXrB
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 12, 2018
"He's been very practical, he's been very firm. This is an example of, I think, presidential leadership -- working with an ally over a very contentious event, trying to find the space necessary to find a good outcome, but being tough," Graham said.
Watch the "America's Newsroom" interview above.