Rand Paul Blasts Saudi Explanation as ‘Insulting’; Fox’s Chris Wallace Asks Why Trump Believes It
Chris Wallace interviewed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Fox News Sunday on the Saudi government and whether President Donald Trump is covering for them in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
After calling the Saudi explanation of events “insulting” to anyone with an “intelligent background”, and saying that it “stretches credulity”, and there’s “no way” it’s what happened, when confronted with Trump calling their account credible, Paul became elusive.
Wallace first outlined the Saudi account of events in brief and then asked Sen. Paul if he believes the account.
“Absolutely not, I think it’s insulting to anyone who is analyzing this with any kind of intelligent background,” said Paul, and then he listed a series of negative observations about Saudi Arabia, including being the largest “state sponsor of radical Islam,” saying that it’s just the latest in a long line of offenses against the civilized word.
The two then discuss the degree to which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved. Paul says that “it stretches credulity to believe that the Crown Prince wasn’t involved in this.”
“There’s no way 15 people were sent from Saudi Arabia to Turkey to kill a dissident without the approval of a Crown Prince,” he said. He talked about sanctions and arms sales, and Wallace segued to a clip of President Trump, who after calling the recent arrests a “good first step” was asked by a reporter whether he considers the explanation from the Saudis to be credible.
After the clip, Wallace asks Paul about the President’s take. “Does President Trump know something that you don’t, Senator, or frankly do you think he’s covering for the Saudis?”
Paul spent 49 seconds not answering the question, closing by saying the Saudis have not acted “as our friend,” after which Chris Wallace repeated it.
“I understand that,” said Wallace. “But I’m asking you directly about the President’s reaction. He says he finds credible an account that you find incredible. Why do you think he’s doing that?”
“I don’t know the reasoning or can’t answer for, you know, the President’s thought process on this,” said Paul. “I can only say that I think many of us looking at this situation think this couldn’t happen in an authoritarian government without the Crown Prince being involved.”
As they continued in the interview, discussing sanctions and arms sales to the Saudi government, Paul also said that he doesn’t believe Trump will stop arms sales, and that Trump and GOP members of congress will “act tough” and “pretend to do something” with sanctions.
Later in the show, Wallace interviewed Newt Gingrich, who likewise called the Saudi explanation insulting.
Watch the clip above, courtesy of Fox News.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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