U.S. Senator Mike Rounds said Saudi Arabia will see some sort of consequence over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — it’s just not clear what that will be.
The Republican senator appeared on Global News’ The West Block this week, and told host Mercedes Stephenson that the Trump administration has been public about their findings so far.
“I think we’re going to have to make a response, and I think clearly the administration — the CIA is part of the administration — is publicly saying exactly what they found out.”
Reports indicated Friday that the CIA has found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Khashoggi, who was a vocal critic of the kingdom’s royal family.
Saudi Arabia has vehemently denied for months any connection between the killing and the royal family.
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While on The West Block, Rounds steered clear of confirming the reports, but said the entire situation is “unfortunate.”
“This is unfortunate because Saudi Arabia has been an ally, they’ve been our ally in our fight against terrorism; we want that to continue on.”
Rounds said what exactly the consequence will be remains unclear.
“There is a penalty to be paid, what the expectation of that penalty is, I don’t have the answer to.”
The senator noted it could be further sanctions.
“I am quite certain that the administration will make proposals and then it will be up to Congress to decide whether or not those proposals are appropriate,” Rounds explained.
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The U.S. has already placed sanctions on 17 Saudis for their role in the killing.
The sanctions fall under the Global Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions over human rights abuses.
The country, however, has been careful not to implicate the prince in matters related to the death.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said Prince Mohammed denied having a connection to the killing.
While on Fox News this weekend, Trump reiterated the statement.
“He told me that he had nothing to do with it,” Trump said. He added “many people” also said the crown prince had no knowledge of the killing.
Rounds on Trump’s twitter habits, tariffs
The senator also spoke to Global News about Trump’s Twitter habits, making it clear that he doesn’t always agree with what the president puts online.
“What I tell people is, as I see the tweets, I don’t necessarily agree with what he’s tweeting, but I do care about what his actual actions are,” he said, saying actions are more important.
Rounds also distanced himself from steel and aluminum tariffs the president has imposed Canada, citing national security reasons.
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“Most of us have said that we think that was a mistake for the president to use that particular section of the law,” he said. “There were other sections that he could have had. Canada is our closest ally. We all recognize that.”
Rounds said he hopes the tariffs situation can be remedied soon.
“I’m very pleased that we’ve got a proposal on the table and according to everything we’re seeing about November 30th we should have a deal put together with Mexico and Canada. If that happens, I think we can move fairly quickly on the issues of tariffs on steel and aluminum. At least that’s my hope.”