Dem senator: Trump accepts Saudi denials because he is 'enamored' with dictators

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMenendez, Rubio lead Senate effort to regulate Venezuelan sanctions Dem report questions State Dept. decision to revoke award to Trump critic Senate Dem calls on Trump to apologize for attacks on McCain MORE (D-Del.) argued Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE is willing to parrot Saudi Arabia's denials regarding the fate of a missing Washington Post journalist partly because he is "enamored" with absolute rulers. 

"President Trump seems to want to believe and listen to folks like Kim Jong Un in North Korea or Vladimir Putin in Russia or in this case the king of Saudi Arabia and the crown prince rather than our own allies," Coons said on CNN's "New Day." 

"I think he should be listening with at least equal weight, if not greater weight, to those whose intelligence services are pointing to the direction of Saudi responsibility." 

Coons later added that his "sense of President Trump is that he is enamored of those who are absolute rulers and dictators of their home countries."


His comments come as Saudi Arabia faces increasing scrutiny over the disappearance of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and outspoken critic of the Saudi government who went missing weeks ago after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.  

An anonymous high-level Turkish official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Turkish police have "certain evidence" that Khashoggi was killed after entering the consulate. 

In addition, at least four suspects identified by Turkey are said to have ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to The New York Times. 

Saudi Arabia has continued to deny involvement. 

Trump has repeatedly noted the Saudi denials when pressed about the disappearance. 

The president said on Tuesday that placing blame on Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's disappearance was another case of "guilty until proven innocent."

"We just went through that with Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned," Trump said in an interview with AP. "So we have to find out what happened."

In addition to Coons, many U.S. lawmakers have voiced outrage over the circumstances involving Khashoggi. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said that Congress would take action earlier this week.

Coons used his interview Wednesday to also slam Trump for calling adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who has alleged to have had an affair with president, "horseface" the previous day.

"For President Trump to be stooping to the level of personal attacks on the appearance of women — this is just not the sort of thing an American president should be doing," Coons said.