President Donald Trump expressed doubt regarding the Central Intelligence Agency’s conclusion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the brutal killing of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi. The statement led to national outcry, with Americans everywhere decrying Trump for being soft on Saudi Arabia, indicating with inaction just how little the sanctity of a free press means to him.
While many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed reactions ranging from dismay to disgust, most of the criticisms were restrained—except for one.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) left no room for doubt on her feelings regarding the matter.
Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not “America First.”
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) November 21, 2018
While political figures who aren’t the president typically aren’t wont to use such candid language, many on Twitter thought Gabbard’s statement was spot on.
OMG love you!
— Kerim (@UCLAKerim) November 21, 2018
— Johnny (@zildjianpro) November 21, 2018
Mahalo for saying what we're all thinking.
— TBC (@HIfromLiz) November 21, 2018
I've never been so proud of my Representative. Thank you for saying what you mean, exactly as you mean it. Your words truly echo the voices of your constituents, Ms. Gabbard.
— Jonathan Botticelli (@jrbotti) November 21, 2018
Though some confused Gabbard’s bluntness for tactlessness, her sentiments were generally the same as even many Republican lawmakers: Letting Saudi Arabia get away with entrapment and murder gave the regime all the power and tarnished the integrity of the United States.
I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. https://t.co/MQ4JsoQtqk
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) November 20, 2018
The President indicates that Saudi Arabia is the lesser two evils compared to Iran and so the U.S. won't punish Saudi Arabia for the brutal killing and dismemberment of a dissident journalist in their consulate. I disagree. https://t.co/0kr2kIyT0P
— Rand Paul (@DrRandPaul) November 20, 2018
I fully realize we have to deal with bad actors and imperfect situations on the international stage.
However, when we lose our moral voice, we lose our strongest asset.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 20, 2018
Trump’s weakness comes just before a crucial moment with Saudi Arabia.