Senate Republican pushes back against claim that Trump covered for Saudi crown prince

Senate Republican pushes back against claim that Trump covered for Saudi crown prince
© Greg Nash

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns MORE (R-Mo.) Sunday pushed back against claims by a foreign policy adviser to former President Obama that President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE may have knowingly covered up the Saudi crown prince's involvement in the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Well I don't know the specific answer there," Blunt told ABC's "This Week."

"I do know that I'm likely to know more about that than Ben Rhodes and I do think that's pretty wild speculation," added Blunt, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"We are faced with the real possibility that Trump has had info from his own intel community that MBS was responsible for murdering a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post and lied about it / tried to help MBS get past it," Ben Rhodes tweeted last week, using the initials of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

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Co-anchor Martha Raddatz asked on Sunday if Blunt was at all concerned that Trump may have ignored information to protect Crown Prince Mohammed. 

"No," Blunt answered.

"Not at all?" she pressed.

"No."

Blunt said earlier on the program that it looked like the crown prince was responsible for the death of Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who was living in the U.S. and wrote columns for The Washington Post.

"Certainly you look at Saudi Arabia and the way it runs, it’s hard to imagine something like this could happen without the crown prince knowing, but I don’t know that we absolutely know that yet," Blunt said.

"I think a smoking gun would certainly help," Blunt said, adding that it is unlikely one will be found.

"High confidence doesn't mean that you actually have what you need," he said. "If that is accurate, it means we don’t quite have all the information."

Trump said on Tuesday that a "full report" on Khashoggi's killing is expected by Tuesday. 

He said that reports that the CIA believed Khashoggi's death was ordered by the crown prince were "premature."