CNN's David Gregory was clearly upset when he delivered a blistering broadside against President Trump for his weak response to strong evidence implicating Saudi Arabia in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the president "has to be bigger". He also said Trump's silence was part of a pattern that went back to the 2016 campaign.
"This is a time when the president has got to be bigger. He's got to be thinking about America's role in the world and got to be thinking about the importance of the presidency," Gregory said. "It's exactly the wrong time to talk about the economic ties we have to Saudi Arabia or that they can buy aircraft from other countries."
Gregory said that the president needs to "send the strongest possible message to our ally Saudi Arabia to come clean on this."
"If they assassinated a journalist and dismembered his body on foreign soil, it is so appallingly wrong. The United States has to take a firm stand," he said, pointing out that the assassination is not a matter of politics as usual.
Gregory went on to ridicule Trump's feeble response. "I'm actually surprised he is not being stronger about getting answers," he said, pounding his fist on the table. "This is not a president who exercises restraint at any other time, why do it here?"
Gregory said that diplomatic relations aside, "Saudi Arabia cannot have this record, cannot abuse the world and good will from 9/11 onward and get away with it."
Gregory laid at least some of the blame at the feet of the president himself.
"You have a president of the United States who calls the press the enemy of the people, which is all BS, frankly," Gregory said. "I think back to when the president was interviewed about Vladimir Putin murdering political opponents and the president not condemning that and saying 'we don't have a great record either'."
"This is where he needs to be big and realize he is president of the United States now, and do the right thing."
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