Central Intelligence Agency chief Haspel to brief Senate on Khashoggi killing

Central Intelligence Agency chief Haspel to brief Senate on Khashoggi killing

"If the Saudi government is going to be in the hands of this man for a long time to come I find it very hard to do business because I think he's insane, I think he is risky and he has put the relationship at risk".

"If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes", Corker said.

Members of both parties who attended a briefing on Tuesday with CIA Director Gina Haspel left the session doubling down on their criticism of President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

A Saudi government critic who was living in self-imposed exile in the US, Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

The two men echoed Trump's reluctance to blame the crown prince.

Outspoken Senator Rand Paul warned America of the "growing Deep State" Tuesday; saying he was "blocked" from a Central Intelligence Agency briefing regarding the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "I would much rather ... the administration speak to this".

"I think the reason they don't draw the conclusion that he's complicit, is because the administration doesn't want to go down that road, not because there's not evidence to suggest he's complicit", he said. The bill is pending further action on the Senate floor. "There's a smoking saw", Graham said.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was shunned by some leaders at the G20 summit
RICARDO MAZALAN APSaudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was shunned by some leaders at the G20 summit

Graham said "you have to be willfully blind" not to conclude that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the crown prince's command.

Paul was not allowed in the Tuesday briefing, which was limited to relevant committee chairmen and select other participants.

Pompeo and Mattis tried to dissuade senators from punishing Saudi Arabia with the resolution, saying US involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) resolution to end US military support for the Saudi kingdom's assault on Yemen.

The Tennessee Republican said that with the schedule changes necessitated by the funeral of President George H.W. Bush, floor debate would most likely come up on Monday, Dec. 10. "As to Pompeo and Mattis, I have great respect for them". "I think temperatures are up by all involved ... so figuring out something that can pass overwhelmingly still is going to be hard because some people want to tie the Yemen piece into the Khashoggi piece".

US newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, have reported that the Central Intelligence Agency has evidence that Prince Mohammed exchanged 11 messages with his close aide Saud al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder, just before and after it took place. The Saudi public prosecutor has indicted and charged dozens of Saudi citizens, including several top advisers to the crown prince, in the affair.

While Senate passage of a resolution would send a strong message to Saudi Arabia, it's unlikely it would become law before the end of the year.

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