Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment MORE (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the evidence is "overwhelming" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month.
“I think the evidence is overwhelming that the crown prince was involved. I don’t think we can sweep this under the rug," Paul said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Paul's comments follow reports Friday that the CIA has concluded that the crown prince ordered the killing of Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.
"The thing about sanctions is that I think sanctions are pretending to do something without really doing anything. Most of these people are in prison, other than the crown prince. But the crown prince runs the country and we deal with him," Paul said.
"If we put sanctions on people who are in prison, are we really doing anything to punish them? They’re already in prison. We need to punish who ordered this, who’s in charge. And really the only thing they understand over there is strength. ... If the president wants to act strongly, he should cut off the arm sales," Paul added.
According to media reports, the CIA examined a phone call in which the crown prince's brother, Khalid bin Salman, urged Khashoggi to go to the consulate to pick up marriage papers. Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate on Oct. 2. Khaled has denied the phone call.
President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE, who has been reluctant to point the finger at the crown prince in the murder of Khashoggi, said Saturday that reports of the CIA's assessment were "premature."