(CNSNews.com) – The White House is “weighing different options” on how to respond to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.
During a White House briefing, Sanders was asked why there has been no action on Khashoggi’s murder now that it’s clear to the world that he was murdered by the Saudis and since President Donald Trump promised that if the Saudis were found responsible, there would be “severe punishment.”
“The president met last week with CIA Director Gina Haspel, after having gathered additional intelligence on her overseas trip, and the administration is weighing different options, and we'll make an announcement about what the decision of that action is,” Sanders said.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes” two weeks ago that his administration would be “very upset and angry” if allegations that the Saudi government was responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s killing proved to be correct.
He reiterated his reluctance to place in jeopardy a $110 billion arms deal with Riyadh and the associated jobs, but said there were “other ways of punishing.”
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment,” Trump said.
Khashoggi, who worked for the Washington Post, was seen on video entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey, but never left. Saudi Arabia eventually admitted that his murder was “premeditated” and not the result of an “accidental” brawl as it said earlier.
When pressed on whether Trump is considering “any actual action” on Khashoggi’s murder, Sanders repeated, “Like I just said, the administration is considering what action we will take moving forward based on that information and the briefing that the president received last week.”
As CNSNews.com previously reported, lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are calling for sanctions against Saudi Arabia, cancelling the arms sales to the Saudis and replacing Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
“So, I think he is going to have to be replaced, frankly, but I think that sanctions don't go far enough. I think we need to look at the arm sale, because this is not just about this journalist being killed, it's about the war in Yemen where tens of thousands of civilians are being killed,” Paul said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” last week.