GOP Rep. Peter King Roasts President for ‘Shielding’ Saudi Arabia… President Obama, That Is
On This Week, host George Stephanopoulos spoke with both Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the topic of the U.S.-Saudi relationship in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and both had choice words about the President’s actions. Just not the same president.
Both Schiff and King, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Dick Durbin, and even Newt Gingrich elsewhere today, stated that they find the explanation from the Saudi government to be not credible.
King further said that while Trump is correct that the Saudis making arrests is a first step, he said it not a “believable” step. He then said that there is a necessity of maintaining a relationship with Saudi Arabia that spans administrations, including that of former President Barack Obama.
“During the Obama administration, I led the fight in the House to allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia. President Obama fought us every step of the way, we had to override his veto,” said King. “So all presidents want to maintain some sort of relationship.”
“Where Adam and I, I think, can agree,” he continued, “is that that relationship cannot allow savagery such as this. So I would ask the President to try to thread the needle here.” He explained “thread the need” as being a “balance” betwen imposing sanctions and halting arms sales without hurting the U.S., and that “we can’t go along with their cover story.”
Schiff noted that there will never be “absolute certainty” on this because there will no confessions, and that Trump will “accept” their denials “much as he’s accepted Putin’s denials, and Kim’s denials.” He said that it can be dealt with seriously and there can be a real consequence to send a message. He then said the “Trump family” has communicated a message to the Saudi government that it’s “carte blanche for the Saudi family. They can do what they want where they want and the U.S. will never stand up to them.”
Stephanopoulos turned to King for a response. “Other Democrats, Congressman King, have said part of the reason for that is that the Trump organization, the Trump family is actually profiting from their ties to the Saudis,” he said. “Should the president release all information related to his financial ties to the Saudi Kingdom?”
That’s when Congressman King cut loose on Obama.
“First of all I think it’s wrong to inject partisanship into this right now. Nobody was more supportive of the Saudis than President Obama, the large arms deals under President Obama,” he said. “He fought us tooth and nail, attacked the Congress when we allowed 9/11 victims to sue the Saudis. He went out of his way to shield the Saudis.”
He argued that now isn’t the time to question the motive of the President. “If you want to do it three or four months from now, do it,” he said. “The fact is right now the president is in a very delicate diplomatic spot, the same as President Obama was. And I think at least for this let’s have a certain time out on making the partisan shots.
He said Trump should be the “President of all the people at this moment,” he said. He then reiterated that he took heat from the Obama administration and repeated that it was a sign of “how strongly [Obama] felt about shielding the Saudis.”
Schiff returned to his previous point saying that Trump should release his tax returns so that people know that Saudi Arabia isn’t being driven by “something other than national interest.”
Watch the clip above, courtesy of ABC News.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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