Central Intelligence Agency chief Haspel to brief U.S. Senate leaders on Khashoggi's death

Central Intelligence Agency chief Haspel to brief U.S. Senate leaders on Khashoggi's death

Two US Republican senators have emerged from a meeting with CIA Director Gina Haspel on Tuesday saying it's clearer than ever that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could not have happened without the knowledge of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Menendez spoke to reporters as he left a closed-door briefing for some Senate committee leaders and Senate leaders by CIA Director Gina Haspel.

Senators from both parties were angry last week that Haspel didn't attend a closed-door session with top administration officials about Khashoggi's killing and the USA response, which many senators have said is lacking. That afternoon, senators frustrated with the briefing and the lack of response to Khashoggi's killing overwhelmingly voted to move forward with consideration of the Yemen resolution, 63-37. The bill is pending further action on the Senate floor.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and American resident, was murdered and dismembered minutes after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2 - allegedly on orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. From there, he wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post in which he criticised the policies of Mohammed bin Salman.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Paul ranted about being denied a briefing with Haspel the latest developments in the investigation of Jamal Khashoggi's death.

At last week's briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there was no hard evidence the crown prince was behind the killing and urged senators not to downgrade ties with Saudi Arabia over the incident.

"MBS, the crown prince, is a wrecking ball".

"We're not quite there yet", Corker said ahead of the briefing. "Was there a phone conversation between the crown prince and the killers?" said Paul, about what he would have asked the Central Intelligence Agency director had he been allowed into the briefing.

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