GOP strategist says Trump is taking 'appropriate stance' with Saudi Arabia

Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini on Monday said he agrees with President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's response to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the president has been forced to walk a diplomatic tightrope with the longtime U.S. ally. 

"We need their support often times in the region to get things done," Ruffini, co-founder of Echelon Insights, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking."

"We have other countries that are even bigger problems, you know, Iraq, Syria, and what not," he continued. 

"I think that this is an appropriate stance that the president has taken in this case," he said.  

Khashoggi, who was an opinion writer for the Washington Post, disappeared earlier this month after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 

Turkish officials have said they have reason to believe Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate on orders of the government in Riyadh.

Trump announced in a tweet on Monday that he had spoken with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, and that he was sending Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Trump defense chief: US may send more troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions Pompeo slams 'unconscionable' release of 'American Taliban' MORE to meet with the leader.

The president later appeared to suggest that Saudi Arabia may not have been behind Khashoggi's disappearance, saying instead "rogue killers" could have been responsible. 

Trump has faced bipartisan pressure from lawmakers to pull out of a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis, as well as to impose sanctions on the U.S. ally. 

He has signaled that he is against canceling the deal. 

— Julia Manchester