- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Saudi Arabia is “an ally with some serious flaws,” said a Republican senator reacting to a new UN report finding “credible evidence” that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was likely killed at the behest of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Clearly, people at pretty high levels knew about it, maybe approved it, maybe even ordered it. I don’t know exactly what all happened but it’s even more concerning than it even was some time ago, but there’s never been much doubt that Saudi Arabia is an ally with some serious flaws,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota Republican, said on CNN’s “At This Hour” program Wednesday.

Mr. Cramer said he’s unsure whether further investigation is necessary for additional confirmation, adding that the more pressing matter is what the U.S.’ response should be.

“The bigger question becomes what do we do about it as a country because we do have these many awkward relationships with allies, quasi-allies, situational-allies in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, of course, is one of those. Moving forward is not a trifling matter but clearly we have to take a stand,” he said.

Mr. Cramer said he doesn’t know right now how the country should take a stand against Saudi Arabia but said the U.S. needs to “acknowledge it.”

“If there’s credible evidence, and there appears to be, that the crown prince was aware if not even involved. We need to acknowledge that up front and then as a team, whether it’s Congress or whether it’s the president’s folks, we have to come way to send a strong signal to both allies and adversaries that we know this, that this is not acceptable, and while we want to work together on certain things in the region, this needs to be addressed,” he said.

President Trump has yet to condemn Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, saying in a November statement they do not “condone” the attack but added, “It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

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