- Sen. Lindsey Graham said he wouldn’t do business with Saudi Arabia in 2018.
- Graham recently visited the country and met with MBS.
- On Sunday, Graham justified his visit and said a lot has changed since then.
Sen. Lindsey Graham is praising Saudi Arabia during a recent visit despite having once called Saudi Arabia’s crown prince “toxic” and refusing to set foot in the country.
ABC ‘This Week’ host Johnathan Karl on Sunday asked Graham about his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and meeting with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“I remember how highly critical you were of him after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, “The Washington Post” columnist,” Karl said.
—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 16, 2023
In 2018 in the aftermath of Khashoggi’s death, Graham said he wouldn’t do business with Saudi Arabia or visit the country.
“The crown prince is a wrecking ball. I think the behavior before the Khashoggi murder was beyond disturbing. And I cannot see him being a reliable partner to the United States,” Graham said then.
On Sunday, Graham said a lot has changed since then.
“Well, a couple things happened. Number one, I’ve been talking with the Biden administration about working with Saudi Arabia to build on the reforms they’re doing in their country and to build on the Abraham Accords,” Graham said. “If you get nothing else out of this interview, things in Saudi Arabia are changing very quickly for the better. I see a chance to normalize the relationship between the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel that would be transformative for the region.”
He noted that Saudi Arabia bought $36 billion worth of 787 Boeing jets made in Charleston, South Carolina, his home state.
“They picked the Boeing 787 over the Airbus. I came over here to say thanks to Saudi Arabia. They’re thinking about buying more jets,” Graham said.