Former White House national security adviser Sebastian Gorka slammed a plan to name a street after slain Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Speaking with C-SPAN host Paul Orgel on Sunday, Gorka bluntly addressed the proposal by a neighborhood group in Washington, D.C. to rename the street that in front of the Embassy of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as “Jamal Khashoggi Way.”
“Why would you vote to name a street after a man who was best friends with Osama Bin Laden and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood?” Gorka asked about the Washington Post contributor and Saudi critic who was killed in October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
“Yes, he was murdered – and that was unjust. That was wrong,” Gorka said. “But this was not some saint and champion of democracy. His last article for Washington Post was about the need for theocracy and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Gorka mockingly questioned if neighborhoods in the nation’s capital would soon clamor to rename streets after Bin Laden and the top al-Qaeda officials.
“It’s a little peculiar, to say the least,” he added.
Orgel asked if Gorka approved of the way President Donald Trump has handled Khashoggi’s murder, referring to the president’s decision to not take strong action against Saudi Arabia or Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“As a former deputy to the president, yes, this is absolutely ow you do it,” Gorka replied.
There have to be consequences for the Saudis, he noted, adding that questions have to be answered but not at the cost of the U.S.-Saudi alliance.
“The idea that we’re going to turn the Middle East upside down because one bad individual was murdered – that is antithetical to strategic thought,” Gorka explained, citing positive developments in the region as a direct consequence of Trump’s actions.
James Harnett, the head of the seven-member Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A – which unanimously passed the resolution to rename the D.C. street – told CNN that Khashoggi’s killing and Trump’s response prompted the commissioners to act.
“This action will force the Saudis to remember, every day. This assault on the press is unforgivable and is deeply harmful to fabric of the truth,” he said. “Leaders at all levels of government need to stand up in whatever ways they can to support people, make their lives better, and push for what’s right. Up against the leaders who have abandoned their duty, this proposal is our way of pushing back.”
The approved resolution will head to the D.C. city council and ultimately to Congress.
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