Schiff: Trump being ‘dishonest with American people’ about Khashoggi killing

Schiff: Trump being ‘dishonest with American people’ about Khashoggi killing
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Schiff says Trump intel chief won't comply with subpoena over whistleblower Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE is "being dishonest" in his portrayal of the CIA's findings in the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I have been briefed by the CIA, and while I cannot discuss the contents of the briefing in any way, I can say that I think the president is being dishonest with the American people," Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"I don't know why. It's certainly not atypical," he added. "Frankly, the president has been dishonest with the country about a great many things. But I think what is most important here is we need to speak up for democratic values."

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Schiff, a frequent critic of the president, criticized Trump's repeated insistence that further punishing Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's death would damage economic and diplomatic relationships between the two countries.

"It telegraphs to despots around the world they can murder people with impunity, and that this president will have their back," he said. "As long as they praise him, as long as they do business with him potentially, and that cannot be the guiding principle behind our foreign policy."

Trump has drawn criticism from members of both parties for his decision not to dole out additional punishment against Saudi Arabia or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in connection with Khashoggi's death.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of Saudi leadership, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

The CIA has reportedly concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing. Trump on Thanksgiving sought to push back on that, asserting that the agency did not come to a conclusion, but may "have feelings certain ways."

The administration has thus far sanctioned 17 Saudis for their alleged roles in Khashoggi's death, and revoked U.S. visas for some officials deemed responsible for the incident.