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 TrumpBroward County official Brenda Snipes submits resignation after criticism Retired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks 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 FlakeSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump’s relationship with Saudi crown prince under pressure Graham urges McConnell to allow vote on bill to protect Mueller MORE (Ariz.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillary advisers battle over whether she’ll run in 2020 Rubio defends '3 point kick' analogy: 'You think everyone who follows politics knows what a field goal is?' Lawmakers to introduce bipartisan bill targeting China's treatment of Muslims MORE (Fla.) say that Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Insurgents seek female challenger to Pelosi for Speakership | Broward County finishes machine recount 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 HatchGinsburg attends Medal of Freedom ceremony amid recovery from fall Utah New Members 2019 Congress braces for high-drama lame duck 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 GrahamSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump’s relationship with Saudi crown prince under pressure Graham: Saudi crown prince is ‘irrational’ and ‘unhinged’ 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