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 TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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 FlakeTrump keeps tight grip on GOP McSally to back Trump on emergency declaration Flake: Biden 'strikes fear in a lot of Republicans' MORE (Ariz.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Dem senator wants Trump to extend immigration protections to Venezuelans Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump MORE (Fla.) say that Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump issues first veto, warning of 'reckless' resolution | US hits Russia with new sanctions | Dems renew push for contractor back pay | Lawmakers seek probe into undocumented workers at Trump businesses Deripaska sues Trump admin over Russia sanctions US announces new Russia sanctions with Canada, EU 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 HatchNY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate 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 GrahamGraham: Dems want to abolish Electoral College because they 'want rural America to go away' Overwhelming majority of voters want final Mueller report released: poll Bottom Line 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