Republican Lawmakers Condemn Trump’s ‘Saudi Arabia First’ Statement: ‘What is Becoming of America?’


A series of prominent Republican lawmakers issued statements on Tuesday condemning President Donald Trump‘s bizarre and widely condemned statement siding with Saudi Arabia over the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump announced in his exclamation point-laden statement that he would be standing by Saudi Arabia, and cast doubt on the reported conclusion of the CIA that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the murder.

Trump’s statement, after some confusion, drew outrage. Republican lawmakers were no exception, with even Trump loyalists condemning the president’s warm words for the Kingdom.

Sen. Rand Paul, long a critic of U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, was fiery out the gate, rejecting Trump’s claims that supporting the country was in America’s interest.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, followed suit — though his statement was less direct:

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, long a thorn in Trump’s side, contested the president’s claim that Saudi Arabia is a “great ally.”

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, another Republican on the way out, went so far as to accuse the White House of moonlighting “as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who was just elected senator in Utah, called the statement “inconsistent with an enduring foreign policy.”

Michigan Congressman Justin Amash called the statement “utterly absurd, irresponsible, and repugnant”:

On CNN Tuesday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, decried the president for setting a bad example around the world and called the statement “stunning.”

He added: “The world scratches its head and wonders, ‘what is becoming of America?'”

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin