Graham Breaks w/ Trump, Has ‘Real Problem’ Selling Weapons to Saudi Arabia

‘There is no new ‘emergency’ reason to sell bombs to the Saudis to drop in Yemen, and doing so only perpetuates the humanitarian crisis there…’

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Lindsey Graham/IMAGE: Fox News via YouTube

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, one of President Donald Trump’s closest congressional allies, broke with the president on Sunday and criticized his decision to push through arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

“I’ve got a real problem with going back to doing business as usual with Saudi Arabia,” Graham told Fox News, citing the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Jordan is a great ally. The [United Arab Emirates] has been problematic in Yemen but are a good ally. Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, but [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] was, in my opinion, involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and he’s done a lot of other disruptive things, so I don’t support the arms sales now,” he continued.

U.S. and international intelligence concluded that the crown prince authorized the murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey on Oct. 3, 2018.

Trump has refused to involve himself in the scandal.

The Trump administration, however, invoked an emergency provision of the law governing arms sales on Friday to sell Saudi Arabia weapons without congressional approval.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the $8.1 billion would help Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Coast allies defend themselves against Iran.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, slammed the White House’s decision, saying he was “disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump administration has failed once again to prioritize our long-term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who also sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Newsweek that Trump’s decision could “set a precedent in which Congress will never vote for another arms sale in the most dangerous part of the world.”

“President Trump is only using this loophole because he knows Congress would disapprove of this sale,” warning that “there is no new ‘emergency’ reason to sell bombs to the Saudis to drop in Yemen, and doing so only perpetuates the humanitarian crisis there.”