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Trump says U.S. would be ‘punishing’ itself if it halts Saudi arms sales

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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States would be “punishing” itself by halting military sales to Saudi Arabia even if it is proven that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Riyadh and a U.S. resident, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate. Turkey’s government believes he was deliberately killed inside the building and his body removed.

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Trump has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and is under international and domestic pressure to help determine what happened to Khashoggi and punish Saudi Arabia if investigations show its government had him killed.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have demanded firm action. There was already mounting concern over civilian deaths caused by a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen’s civil war and some lawmakers have said Washington should block military sales to Riyadh if the allegations over Khashoggi are proven.

But Trump is firmly opposed.

“I actually think we’d be punishing ourselves if we did that,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“There are other things we can do that are very, very powerful, very strong and we’ll do them,” he added, without saying what those measures might be.

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Under U.S. law, major foreign military sales can be blocked by Congress. An informal review process lets key lawmakers use a practice known as a “hold” to stall deals if they have concerns such as whether the weapons being supplied would be used to kill civilians.

Major U.S. defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Raytheon Co (RTN.N), are among the beneficiaries of Washington’s close ties to Riyadh and would be hurt by the halting of major arms deals.

Trump said on Saturday his administration won a $110 billion military order from Saudi Arabia and that the deal, combined with Saudi commitments to invest heavily in the United States, was worth hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

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“If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or they’re going to buy it from China,” he said. “Think of that, $110 billion. All they’re going to do is give it to other countries, and I think that would be very foolish.”
VERBATIM: A big step in improving relations with Turkey

It was unclear what specific measures, if any, Trump is considering against Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s largest oil exporter, and one of his top allies.

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The Trump administration plans to reimpose sanctions on oil exports from Iran on Nov. 5 and Trump has urged Saudi Arabia to boost oil output to help make up for the loss.

Trump said he would probably speak to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman over the weekend “because I think it’s appropriate for me to ask him what’s going on.”


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The View’s Meghan McCain blows up on Tom Steyer: ‘I hate that guy — he should drop the hell out’

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Conservative co-host Meghan McCain blasted Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer Tuesday, noting he's taking votes away from former Vice President Joe Biden.

In a panel discussion about the presidential candidates with "Shark Tank" hosts Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary, "The View" co-hosts asked about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his compliments for former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. O'Leary said that he has a home in Miami, Florida where it isn't acceptable to even mention Castro's name, much less defend him.

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‘Don’t put handcuffs on’: Body camera footage shows Orlando police arresting 6-year-old for ‘tantrum’

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The Orlando Police Department has released footage of a 6-year-old girl being arrested.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, Kaia Rolle was being read a story when officers showed up to arrest her after she had a "tantrum" earlier in the day.

The arrest occurred at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy on Sept. 19, 2019. Rolle's family shared body camera footage with the Orlando Sentinel this week.

“What are those for?” Rolle asks the officer, referring to zip ties used to handcuff suspects.

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Battle for Duncan Hunter’s former congressional seat turns into an ugly GOP slugfest

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California, once a red state, has become increasingly Democratic in recent years: both of its U.S. senators are Democrats (Dianne Feinstein and former 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris), and only six of California’s 53 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are held by Republicans. The Golden State lost one of its GOP congressmen after former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter Jr. pled guilty to a corruption charge and resigned, and Republicans are fighting it out in California’s 50th Congressional District over what used to be Hunter’s seat.

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