Congress should work with Trump and not 'cowboy' on Saudi Arabia, says GOP senator

GOP Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) wants Congress to work with President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ MORE instead of “cowboying this on our own” as lawmakers consider how to respond to allegations Saudi Arabia is responsible for the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I don't want to see Congress going out cowboying this on their own, I'd like to do it with the president,” Kennedy told reporters while discussing possible U.S. actions to punish the Saudi kingdom if officials ordered the killing of the U.S.-based journalist. Khashoggi disappeared earlier this month after entering the Saudi embassy in Turkey and is presumed dead.

“We can condemn their conduct - in this case Saudi Arabia - without blowing up the Middle East, and without destroying our ability to talk with them,” Kennedy asserted before listing several possible punishments.

“You could expel diplomats, you could do a U.N. resolution, you could curtail arms sales, you could do sanctions on individuals, I don't know the appropriate conduct,” Kennedy said before emphasizing that the president and Congress must be united and actions based on “U.S. values.”

Since suspected Saudi involvement in Khashoggi’s Oct. 2nd disappearance, Republican and Democratic senators have called for sanctions on the Saudis and an end to U.S. arms sales. Additionally, some Republicans including Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least CBS News in talks to hire Flake: report MORE (Ariz.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Rubio slams NY Times for 'absurd criticism' of Bolton over Iran MORE (Fla.) say that Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMIT removed Russian oligarch from board following sanctions from Treasury Department Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report MORE should cancel a trip to Riyadh next week.

Asked if Mnuchin should attend the Saudi-based investment conference, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLive coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing Trump praises RNC chairwoman after she criticizes her uncle Mitt Romney Romney sworn in as senator MORE (R-Utah) said: "I think he should go if he wants to.”

Kennedy however, sided with Flake and Rubio.

“Until we can get all this worked out, I don't think it's appropriate that he go,” Kennedy said.

Another GOP senator has gone a step farther in his pledge to take action on Saudi Arabia.

But Kennedy refused to comment on Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ AG pick Barr emphasizes independence from Trump Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight MORE’s (R-S.C.) Tuesday morning pledge not to do business with Saudi Arabia as long as Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is in charge.

-- Molly K. Hooper