Florida Republican says Pensacola shooting 'has to inform on our ongoing relationship with Saudi Arabia'

Florida Republican says Pensacola shooting 'has to inform on our ongoing relationship with Saudi Arabia'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Britney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing MORE (R-Fla.) said Sunday that the deadly naval base shooting in Pensacola, Fla. “has to inform on our ongoing relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

Gaetz said on ABC’s “This Week” that he told the Saudi ambassador that the Friday night shooting, which was allegedly carried out by a Saudi military officer, would affect the U.S. relationship with Riyadh. 

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“Of course, what happened in Pensacola has to inform on our ongoing relationship with Saudi Arabia,” he said. “That is the message I directly delivered to the Saudi ambassador when she called to offer her condolences.”

Gaetz added that the U.S. does not want any “interference” from Saudi Arabia during the investigation.

“[I]f there are Saudis that we do not have that may have been involved in any way in the planning, inspiration, financing or execution of this ... we expect Saudi agents to work with our government to find the people accountable and hold them responsible,” he told ABC.

 

The FBI identified the shooter in the attack, in which three people were killed, as a Saudi Royal Air Force second lieutenant on Saturday. 

Gaetz has called the attack “unequivocally an act of terror,” The New York Times reported, but Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war The Biden administration and Tunisia: Off to a good start Overnight Defense: Navy pulls plug on 0 million railgun effort | Esper defends Milley after Trump attacks | Navy vet charged in Jan. 6 riot wants trial moved MORE said earlier Saturday that he is not considering the shooting as terrorism “at this time.”