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Kaine Statement On Saudi Arabia Claims Regarding Jamal Khashoggi

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement on Saudi Arabia’s claims regarding the death of Jamal Khashoggi:  

“Saudi Arabia’s state-sponsored murder of Virginia resident and esteemed journalist Jamal Khashoggi while visiting its consulate in Istanbul demonstrates a combination of brutality and lies that must not be tolerated. After claiming that Khashoggi left the consular office on his own and that they knew nothing of his condition, the Saudis now offer up the inane lie that he was killed in a fistfight within the consulate. If so, where is the body? And why did they lie about their complicity in Khashoggi’s death in the first place?

"Yet from the outset, the Saudis have been encouraged in their brutality and lies by a President who defends them and accepts their incredible claims in a manner that suggests extreme gullibility or purposeful indifference. As discouraging as his enabling may be, it is no longer surprising from a President who repeatedly calls the press the ‘enemy of the people.’

"Congress, and the American people, must do better. We should cease U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi intervention into the civil war in Yemen. We should cease arms sales to Saudi Arabia until there is real accountability for Khashoggi’s death and dramatic improvement in the nation’s treatment of journalists and political dissidents, some imprisoned for noble acts like promoting the equality of women. And we should look in the mirror and ask whether an America that embraces authoritarians and trashes our allies is who we want to be.

"The President points out that selling arms to Saudi Arabia is economically advantageous. But an ancient question has to be answered—what does it profit a nation to gain the world but lose its soul?”