Sen. Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, joined the ranks of GOP lawmakers who are criticizing President Donald Trump for his decision to defend Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “I disagree with the president’s assessment,” Lee said on NBC. “It’s inconsistent with the intelligence I’ve seen.” Lee said that the intelligence he has seen suggests the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ordered by the crown prince.
This isn’t the first time Lee has split with Trump when Saudi Arabia is concerned, particularly relating to the U.S. support for the military campaign in Yemen. And he made it clear that his views on the Yemen conflict certainly affected how he saw the Khashoggi killing. “Now look, I don’t have access to everything the president sees. I’m not sure what he’s relying on. Intelligence I’ve seen suggests that this was ordered by the crown prince, and is yet another reason why I’ve been pushing … to get us out of fighting Saudi Arabia’s civil war effort in Yemen against the Houthis,” Lee said.