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) GaetzGaetz in Twitter battle with Florida House Republican Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Conservatives slam Warren's call to put transgender women in women's prisons 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: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon US military to soon resume training for Saudi students State Department cancels two classified congressional briefings on Iran, embassy security MORE said earlier Saturday that he is not considering the shooting as terrorism “at this time.”