Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a “wrecking ball” in an interview with Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, as it was revealed that officials found “certain evidence” that missing Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
“I know this: Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing it,” Graham told co-host Brian Kilmeade. “I think he’s on a bad track. I can never do business with Saudi Arabia again until we get this behind us.”
“I’ve been their biggest defender on the floor of United States Senate,” Graham continued. “This guy is a wrecking ball. He had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it. I feel used and abused. I was on the floor every time defending Saudi Arabia.”
“I feel personally offended,” he added. “This guy has got to go. MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself.”
Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was seen smiling and shaking hands with the prince after a 15-minute meeting. He also thanked Saudi King Salman for what he called a “thorough, transparent, and timely investigation” into the disappearance of Khashoggi.
“There’s a difference between a country and an individual,” Graham said. “The MBS figure is toxic. He can never be a world leader on the world stage.”
Khashoggi went missing two weeks ago and was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Despite Graham’s firm pushback, the Trump administration has appeared keen to keep its ties with the kingdom’s ruling family.
The announcement that police claimed they found evidence of Khashoggi’s death in the consulate came after repeated denials from Saudi officials of any involvement in his disappearance. Even still, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan claimed early Tuesday that the Saudi consulate had been freshly painted following Khashoggi’s mysterious death.
“My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over,” Erdogan told reporters.
During the same Fox & Friends interview, Graham poked fun at Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who on Monday released details of a DNA test that allegedly found “strong evidence” of her Native American ancestry. Warren was criticized on multiple fronts over the test, including by the Cherokee Nation.
“I will take a DNA test,” Graham joked to Kilmeade. “I’ve been told my grandmother may be part Cherokee Indian. It may be just talk.”
“I’ll probably be Iranian. That’d be, like, terrible,” he added.
“Great people, just bad leaders,” Kilmeade responded.
“Bad leaders,” Graham echoed. “I’m not in the Ayatollah branch yet.”