Reminding a Montana Republican rally that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., ripped the kingdom – long considered a U.S. ally – for being the reason "we have worldwide terrorism."
"Anyone remember who attacked us on 9/11?" Sen. Paul told the rally attended by Donald Trump Jr., according to The Hill. "Anybody heard of a madrassa? They have 20,000 madrassas in Pakistan funded by the Saudis that teach hatred of Christians, hatred of Jews, hatred of Hindus, throughout the world.
"Why do we have worldwide terrorism? The Saudis fund it."
Paul is likely to call on Congress to put pressure on Saudi Arabia after their potential involvement in murdering and dismembering Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
"We have to think through this idea that everything [the U.S. supports] is going to be blindly for Saudi Arabia, they're involved in a war in Yemen where tens of thousands of civilians are dying," Paul said, per The Hill.
Trump Jr. and Sen. Paul were attending the Montana campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. Trump Jr. did not reference Saudi Arabia in his remarks following Paul, according to the report.
As much as there is bipartisan support for sanctions against the kingdom for their killing the critical journalist, Paul said sanctions will not do enough.
"I think sanctions are a way of pretending to do something," Paul told the rally, per The Hill. "If you sanction the 15 thugs that the crown prince sent to [the consulate in Istanbul,] you're sanctioning 15 thugs, and they'll just get 15 more thugs.
"Saudi Arabia will see that as a way of pretending. It's a way of acting tough without being tough.
Blocking the $110 billion arms sale to the kingdom will do a lot more, Paul reportedly said.
"Cutting off the arms sales will make them wake up," Paul told The Hill before speaking at the rally. "In fact, their air force would be grounded in two or three months if they didn't have spare parts.
"Saudi Arabia has done a lot of bad things. They spent $100 billion on radical Islam."
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