Mnuchin: ‘Premature to comment on sanctions’ against Saudi Arabia

Mnuchin: ‘Premature to comment on sanctions’ against Saudi Arabia
© Greg Nash

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules Mnuchin and McConnell discuss debt limit during brief meeting Major Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report MORE said Sunday that it is premature to speak of potential U.S. sanctions against Saudi Arabia over the death of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem as he began his visit to the Middle East, according to Reuters.

President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE said Saturday that he is not satisfied with the Saudis' investigation into Khashoggi's death, Reuters reports, though he said Friday that the kingdom's arrests of those alleged to be involved is a good first step.

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Mnuchin confirmed to reporters that he will not attend a Saudi conference on terror finance networks, but that he will visit the kingdom's capital to speak with his Saudi counterpart regarding combating terrorist financing.

“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said, according to Reuters.

The Treasury Secretary added that he will speak with Trump before visiting Riyadh and will convey whatever he wishes to the kingdom's government.

"I’m sure I will be speaking to the president before I go there, and if he has a message he wants me to deliver I will obviously deliver it, but it is not the focus of my trip.”