GOP Rep. Kinzinger: I 'Wish' Trump Didn't Say Crown Prince May Not Have Known About Khashoggi Murder
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said that he isn't a fan of parts of the statement that President Trump issued on Tuesday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and prominent regime critic, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey last month.
Trump said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may or may not have known about Khashoggi's murder.
"King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!," the president said.
Kinzinger -- a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee -- said that although he didn't like parts of Trump's remarks, he "likes the result."
"I wish the statement would've been about a page and a half of how terrible this act is ... but I think the results were correct," he said.
Kinzinger said that those urging Trump to realign the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia aren't "thinking strategically on foreign policy to say the least."
President Trump has hesitated to take action against the Saudis, claiming damage could be done to America's relationship with country.
Kinzinger added that with a Democrat-controlled House, its Foreign Affairs Committee will work to declassify the CIA's findings on Khashoggi's death.
"They're going to try to do it because they want to embarrass the president," he said. "Too much, we're using intel, declassifications, things like that as a political tool and not what its been there for, which is to protect national security of the United States. The president made the right decision here."
Trump's statement is receiving widespread criticism, including from former CIA Director John Brennan.
Since Mr. Trump excels in dishonesty, it is now up to members of Congress to obtain & declassify the CIA findings on Jamal Khashoggi’s death. No one in Saudi Arabia—most especially the Crown Prince—should escape accountability for such a heinous act. https://t.co/exQrZKybhk
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) November 20, 2018
A U.S. official told The Associated Press that intelligence officials have concluded that bin Salman ordered the killing.
Also on the show, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) called for an independent investigation into Khashoggi's murder, stressing America's "moral leadership" in the world.
Cicilline said there must be "real punishment" for Saudi Arabia and those responsible for the murder.