President Donald Trump’s son Eric opined Friday that the United States should not severe ties with Saudi Arabia over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, The Hill reports.
Emulating his father’s response to the situation – which is threatening to produce an international diplomatic crisis – Eric said that the way the Saudis murdered Khashoggi was “obviously savage,” but warned that the United States cannot “throw away” its trade and other agreements with the country.
“You cannot be executing journalists or anybody else. But what are you going to do? You’re going to take [America’s history of trade and agreements with Saudi Arabia] and you’re going to throw all of that away?”
Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom’s practices, is believed to have been dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey shortly after entering.
The Khashoggi case, Eric Trump said, puts the United States in a “very tough predicament.”
Still, according to the president’s son, the United States needs to preserve its relationship with Saudi Arabia – not only because of various trade agreements with the country – but also because Saudi Arabia is, he claims, an ally of the United States.
“I think we have to be honest with ourselves. As America, we face a little bit of a problem in that we don’t have all that many friends in the Middle East,” Eric said.
Much like his father Donald Trump, Eric seems satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s response to the Khashoggi case. Lawmakers on both sides, however, reject Saudi claims.
After President Trump said that he finds the Saudi narrative “credible,” calling the probe into his alleged murder a “good first step,” both Republican and Democratic lawmakers rejected Saudi Arabia’s claims, some even urging the United States to stop selling arms to the country, according to Bloomberg.
President Trump praises the Saudi response on Khashoggi but lawmakers on both sides reject the account of events https://t.co/V1GfH3NFFO— Bloomberg (@business) October 20, 2018
Republicans Peter King, Rand Paul, Bob Corker, and Mike Coffman all issued separate statements casting doubt on Saudi Arabia’s narrative, and Paul urged the United States to halt arms sales to the country.
Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, asked, “If he was accidentally killed in a fist fight, then where is the body?”
As Bloomberg notes, Saudi Arabia enjoys great support in the Oval Office, but not in the Capitol. For many Republican and Democratic lawmakers – some of who have long opposed Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen war and interference in Lebanese politics – Khashoggi’s death is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Eric Trump, Donald Trump, and the White House remain isolated in their refusal to sever ties with Saudi Arabia.