Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he was taken aback Sunday by what he says was President Trump’s suggestion to “deemphasize human rights” issues during the president’s speech in Saudi Arabia to leaders of majority-Muslim nations.
“I think this is a broader element of the administration’s policy that they’re going to deemphasize issues of human rights,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The California congressman’s comments come after Trump urged Muslim leaders to form a new coalition to fight extremism. The president stayed away from issuing warnings on human rights, however, during his speech in Riyadh.
“That what countries do within their own boundaries, we’re essentially going to look the other way, that’s not a high priority of ours anymore. The promotion of democracy, the promotion of human rights is going to take a back seat,” Schiff told CNN’s Jake Tapper.“I think that would be a terrible abdication of our global leadership when it comes to advocating got people who are the subject of persecution.”
Trump received a warm welcome Saturday when he arrived in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia was the first stop of his first trip abroad as president. Trump is looking to appeal to the world’s three Abrahamic religions with visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.