Texas A&M Saudi researcher on drawing a hard line after journalist's disappearance

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Gregory Gause has known missing Saudi Arabian Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi for about 30 years.

In his capacity as a Middle East and Arabian Peninsula researcher at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service, Gause says he has long used Khashoggi as a source of knowledge on those topics, eventually developing a personal relationship.

Now, Khashoggi has disappeared, and fingers are being pointed at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to discuss the situation.

On First News at Four, Gause addressed the political implications of Khashoggi's disappearance.

"We have to answer the question: what kind of relationship do we [the United States] want with a ruler that would take off after a dissident that was no threat to him at all?" said Gause.

While some members of Congress are calling for sanctions on Saudi oil, Gause says there's no need to hurt the U.S. economically to send a message, especially as sanctions against Iran are already planned.

"I think the administration should basically tell the Saudi ambassador--who's the full brother of the Crown Prince--not to come back to Washington, to stay in Saudi Arabia," said Gause. "Because he blatantly lied about what happened in this incident."

"There are ways to express displeasure that can hopefully lead to a strategic discussion with the Crown Prince about what the limits of Saudi power are and how they can fit in to an American strategy in the Middle East and not create even more chaos," Gause said.

For the full conversation with Gause, see the video player above.