Central Intelligence Agency director to brief Senate leaders on Khashoggi's slaying

Lindsey Graham of SC told reporters after receiving a briefing from CIA Director Gina Haspel.

After Tuesday's briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, US senators sounded more convinced than ever that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khoshoggi. MBS, the crown prince, is a wrecking ball.

President Donald Trump has equivocated over who is to blame for Khashoggi's death.

"I'm not going to destroy the world economy and I'm not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia", the president said.

Echoing Trump's public comments on the killing, Pompeo said after last week's briefing with senators that there was "no direct reporting" connecting the crown prince to the murder.

Saudi Arabia maintains the crown prince did not know anything about the murder, which it claims was an accident.

It's unclear whether or how that resolution will move forward.

Some senators had accused the White House of barring Haspel's participation in last week's briefing with Pompeo and Mattis.

Mr Khashoggi was killed - and is believed to have been dismembered - after entering the Saudi consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage.


Lindsey Graham, who says he will push the Senate to vote on a resolution that finds the crown prince complicit in the murder, said one would have to "be willfully blind" not to come to the conclusion that Khashoggi's death was orchestrated and organized by people under the crown prince. "We don't need smoking gun evidence, this is not a criminal trial".

Last week, Canada also slapped 17 sanctions on Saudis who were involved in the murder. Chris Murphy, a Democrat Connecticut who co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to the United States role in Yemen.

With many senators furious about being excluded from the briefing, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded Haspel "brief the full Senate without delay". "If MBS were in front of a jury, he'd be convicted in less than 30 minutes".

On Tuesday, two senators from Mr Trump's Republican Party said a Central Intelligence Agency briefing had strengthened their belief the Saudi prince ordered the killing in Istanbul on 2 October. "I can not support arm sales to Saudi Arabia as long as he's in charge". And when a reporter asked Corker if it would be a murder conviction, he replied, "Yes".

Unconvinced by them and incensed by the administration's refusal to send the Central Intelligence Agency director to the hearing, Republicans and Democrats had joined hands to vote to bring to a legislative measure halting U.S. support to the Saudi-led ruling forces in Yemen fighting Iranian-backed Houthis.

U.S. intelligence community assessments and experts said it's unlikely the killing could have happened without the crown prince's knowledge.

Turkey is seeking to arrest two former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who were dismissed amid the fallout from the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Haspel spoke only to Senate leaders and the heads of national security committees with an interest in Saudi policy regarding Yemen and the intelligence surrounding Khashoggi's killing, according to multiple people familiar with the plans.


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