Rand Paul: ‘We need to re-examine’ US-Saudi relationship after Florida shooting

Greg Nash

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has called for the U.S. to “re-examine” its relationship with Saudi Arabia after a Saudi national who was in the U.S. for aviation training allegedly carried out a fatal shooting at a Florida military base. 

“We should immediately suspend training Saudi military units until we have all the answers on this horrific attack,” Paul tweeted. “We need to re-examine our relationship with the kingdom.”

Four people including a gunman were killed during a shooting at a naval air base in Pensacola, Fla., last week. The FBI has identified the shooter as Saudi Royal Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani. 

Following the incident, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) called for a review of the vetting process of foreign military personnel who enter the U.S. for training. 

President Trump, meanwhile, has been notably close with Saudi Arabia.

After the shooting, Trump said he spoke with Saudi King Salman and tweeted that the leader expressed condolences

Paul has previously criticized Trump for his closeness with the kingdom, including after the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. 

He called Trump’s statement on the matter “Saudi Arabia First, not America First.”

He also voted with Democrats and a handful of other Republicans to block Trump’s Saudi arms deal earlier this year. 

Tags Donald Trump Matt Gaetz Rand Paul Saudi Arabia
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