'This Guy's Nuts': Graham Blasts MBS, Says U.S. Can't Give Him 'A Pass' for Khashoggi Murder
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday night that he's going to come down "like a ton of bricks" on Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Graham (R-S.C.) said that the October killing of Khashoggi could not have taken place without MBS knowing about it.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was born in Saudi Arabia, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October.
"It's not in our interests to give the crown prince ... a pass for murder of an American resident with three American children," Graham said. "Because then you're going to have open season on Americans everywhere."
CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed two Senate committees on Capitol Hill earlier on Tuesday on the agency's findings about Khashoggi's murder.
Graham had said that "there's a smoking saw" implicating MBS, adding that anyone who would deny his involvement at this point is "willfully blind."
He added on The Story with Martha MacCallum that "there's a certain price to be paid" if Saudi Arabia wants to remain an ally with the U.S.
"You can't chop up a guy in a consulate, particularly who's an American resident who's an opinion journalist for The Washington Post, and expect us to do nothing about it," said Graham.
He said that Saudi Arabia disrespected its relationship with the United States and needs to repair it.
He also advocated suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia until those responsible for Khashoggi's murder are held to account.
"If we don't stop it now, it gets worse later," Graham said, adding that MBS has been a "wrecking ball" the Middle East. "This guy's nuts."
Graham said that President Trump has worked to create a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, and he "clearly" isn't being respected.
"They feel like they can do anything and get away with it. Now's the time to come down hard," he said. "Now's the time to be the leader of the world."