Eric Trump: US shouldn’t ‘throw away’ Saudi relationship over Khashoggi death

Eric Trump: US shouldn’t ‘throw away’ Saudi relationship over Khashoggi death
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Comey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator Trump pushes back on reports that Ayers was first pick for chief of staff MORE's son Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpDe Niro returns to ‘Saturday Night Live’ as Mueller with warning for Eric Trump Conway's husband responds to Trump tweet on Cohen: 'Other than that, totally scot-free' Trump Winery petitions to hire more foreign workers MORE is warning the U.S. to not "throw away" its relationship with Saudi Arabia over the apparent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The younger Trump rebuked the alleged death of Khashoggi by Saudi operatives as "savage" during an interview Friday on Fox News's "Outnumbered," while noting that the U.S. is starved for reliable allies in the Middle East.

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"I think it's tough. You can't have journalists getting murdered," Eric Trump said on the program. "And the way they did it was obviously savage."

"At the same time, I think we have to be honest with ourselves," he said. "As America, we face a little bit of a problem in that we don't have all that many friends in the Middle East."

"You cannot be executing journalists or anybody else," Trump said. "[But] what are you going to do? You're going to take [America's history of trade and agreements with Saudi Arabia] and you're going to throw all of that away?"

Trump argued that the apparent killing of Khashoggi, a resident of Virginia who was critical of Saudi leadership, has left the U.S. in a "very tough predicament."

The Trump administration has faced pressure to have a more forceful response to Saudi Arabia should it be found responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

The Saudi journalist, who served as an opinion contributor to The Washington Post, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtained marriage documents on Oct. 2.

President Trump has said that it appears the journalist is dead. Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was dismembered in the Saudi consulate shortly after entering.

"It certainly looks that way to me. It's very sad," the president said Thursday when asked if it was likely Khashoggi had been killed, adding that consequences for his death would "have to be very severe." 

Khashoggi's disappearance has put international pressure on the Saudi government, which has seen representatives from foreign businesses and governments withdraw from the nation's planned investment summit in Riyadh later this month over the scandal.