Rand Paul: Saudis 'Are Not Our Friends'; Stop Arming Them

By Susan Jones | October 17, 2018 | 5:48am EDT
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is urging President Trump to cut off arms sales to the Saudis and end U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Yemen. (File photo/Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he spoke to President Trump this past weekend, "and I told him that we need to cut off arms to Saudi Arabia."

"For over a year now, I have been trying to get Congress to stop sending more arms to Saudi Arabia," Paul told Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.


"It's important to remember that Saudi Arabia is the largest state sponsor of radical Islam. They fund tens of thousands of madrassas around the world, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Philippines, all teaching hatred of America. They have been doing this for decades. They are not our friends."

Paul said the apparent murder of a Saudi writer at the Saudi consulate in Turkey is just more proof "that we need not be arming them."

President Trump has said he is reluctant to cut off $110 billion in U.S. arms sales to the Saudis, who might then turn to Russia or China to supply them.

But Paul isn't buying that argument:

The senator said the United States has "extraordinary leverage" over the Saudis:

"It's been reported that their air force can't go a couple months without spare parts. Their air force is entirely U.S. planes. They are dependent on us for parts, mechanics. They are entirely dependent on us. They can't last months without our help."

"We tell them absolutely we are not going to do business with a government that chops up journalists, puts them in little bags, and then escorts them out of an embassy and dumps them somewhere.

"This is not civilized behavior. And what they're doing around the world -- hatred of America is not civilized. We have been turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia for decades. They are the worst actor out there promoting terrorism."

Paul pointed to the Saudi's U.S.-supported war in Yemen as another "catastrophe."

He noted that President Trump has talked about the Iraq war being such a big mistake: "He has been very consistent and strong on that. The war in Yemen is exactly the same way. It's going to lead to chaos, and it will lead to be another festering ground for terrorism."

Paul said he spends "all my time" trying to get the U.S. out of the 17-year war in Afghanistan, where the U.S has no "military mission" and there is no "military solution."

"And I do bug the president. When I talk to the president, what I talk to him about is, let's get the hell out of Afghanistan. "

Paul said he feels the same way about the war in Yemen.

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