At a confirmation hearing for retired General John Abizaid, President Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Senator Marco Rubio slammed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as being like "something out of a James Bond movie," and asked Trump's nominee how he'd deal with the strategic ally.
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Retired General John Abizaid, President Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia, defended the U.S.-Saudi relationship on Wednesday as lawmakers accused the kingdom of a litany of misdeeds and criticized its crown prince as going "full gangster." Senators at Abizaid's confirmation hearing including Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats condemned the kingdom's conduct in the civil war in Yemen, heavy-handed diplomacy and rights abuses.
Among those were the torturing of women's activists and a U.S. citizen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Abizaid called for accountability for the murder of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, and support for human rights, but repeatedly stressed the strategic importance of Washington-Riyadh ties.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said bin Salman had gone "full gangster," an assertion repeated by another Republican, Senator Ron Johnson.