Sen. Flake: 'Severe action needs to be taken' if Saudi government killed journalist

The Republican senator from Arizona offers his take on the midterm elections and responds to the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
7:25 | 10/14/18

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Transcript for Sen. Flake: 'Severe action needs to be taken' if Saudi government killed journalist
year. Will he be a candidate in 2020? Senator, thanks for joining us this morning. Let's begin with the news of the day, Jamal khashoggi, the Saudi journalist who has disappeared in the Turkish embassy. You heard Larry kudlow saying the president said he's going to take severe action. What should be done? Well, severe action needs to be taken. I think the congress will take it upon themselves to take that action if it turns out that Saudi Arabia was involved. You say they're going to take some kind of action. The president has ruled out it appears stopping the arms sale to Saudi Arabia. You were against stopping the arms sale in the past. Does this kind of violation, if indeed the Saudis were behind the murder of Jamal khashoggi, should that stop U.S. Arm sales? I think arm sales will be affected. Certainly our involvement in Yemen with Saudi Arabia will be affected. That involvement barely survived in the last go around with the national defense authorization act. It certainly won't survive with this kind of accusation if it is true. You say if it is true. Jamal khashoggi was seen going into the Saudi consulate in istanbul. He was never seen coming out. That was over a week ago. Is there any other explanation at this point? There doesn't seem to be. The Saudi Arabia government has been asked, the ambassador has been asked to bring information back. They haven't done so. Their explanation that their closed circuit television didn't record isn't plausible. There's no good explanation. I think they know it. I would expect to hear different explanations coming from the Saudi government very soon. Certainly explanations that frankly won't make much sense. That it was done by lower level folks and they didn't have any involvement. That's what I would expect to come next. We've seen president trump on the campaign trail. Pretty consistently over the last few weeks. One of the issues he raised is the return of the family separation policy. Let's take a look. Now everybody wants to come in. They come in illegally. They use children. In many cases the children aren't theirs. They grab them and want to come in with the children. We're looking at a lot of things having to do with illegal immigration. If they feel there will be separation, they don't come. The president is talking about bringing this policy back in some form. We have this new poll showing Democrats have a huge edge over Republicans on immigration. Is the president making a mistake here? Yes, he is. We shouldn't bring that policy back. That simply is unamerican. Everybody recognized that. The president seemed to. Certainly the first lady and others spoke against it. I hope that we don't return to that policy. Let's talk about justice Kavanaugh. You ended up voting for justice Kavanaugh's confirmation on the supreme court. He took his seat on the court. In our new poll now, 50% of Americans said the judiciary committee you sat on didn't do enough to investigation. Are you concerned that Americans see this whole confirmation process and perhaps the court itself now tainted? Well, that was my concern when we finished the process and were about to vote in the judiciary committee. That's why I requested or demanded that we have an FBI investigation to look further into that. We have that. I know people wanted it more broad. I would like to have started it earlier. It was a good investigation. We're at a better place than we would have been. I don't think we should move forward, the congress, with additional investigations either into the leak that occurred, that allowed a lot of the back and forth to go between Democrats and Republicans or certainly trying to remove justice Kavanaugh from the court. That's your counsel to congress. How about your counsel to justice Kavanaugh? How should he handle himself on the bench going forward? He gave a gracious speech at the white house after he was confirmed. Look at his record on the circuit court. Everyone who worked with him, clerks, his colleagues, said he was courteous and there was nothing but good decorum and temperament during that time. I think that's how he'll act on the court. We can move on. It was an awful process. For all of us. Nobody wants to go through something like this again. It was nice to see everyone from the court that was appointed by Republicans that was appointed by Democrats all there to welcome him there on the court. That's a good thing. We saw Larry kudlow downplay the u.n.'s findings on climate change. We've seen dramatic shifts on how Republicans see climate change over the last several years. Are they going in the wrong direction? I think so. I think we've got -- there's been more recognition among Republicans. The administration hasn't taken the view of some of us that this is something we need to deal with. I hope we can move along with the rest of the world. It's going to be challenging. That report that came out is pretty dire. There are things we can do and should do. I think Republicans need to be at the forefront if we want to keep our place and keep our seats. You talk about keeping your seats. Let's talk about the midterm elections. We showed you talking about your hope for a primary challenge to president trump as a way to bolster conservative values. I wonder what you make of the argument of George will who said conservatives should vote for Democrats in the midterms as a check on president trump? I hope that Republicans who are concerned about the investigation and making sure it continues, the house Republicans have taken a little different position publicly. Gratefully, the senate Intel committee has acted in a bipartisan fashion to make sure we move forward, that Bob Mueller concludes his investigation on his timing, not on ours. Republicans need to provide that check. That's what our system does. I hope they can without a change in who controls congress. I think that may be coming. If you believe the conventional wisdom, and I do, the house will likely flip. The senate will remain in Republican hands. Jeff flake, thanks for your time. Thanks for bringing me on.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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