Central Intelligence Agency director convinces senators of Saudi crown prince's role in Khashoggi murder

Central Intelligence Agency director convinces senators of Saudi crown prince's role in Khashoggi murder

TRT World's Sally Ayhan has more.

They said the "whole world is certain that he ordered a bad crime against the journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

CIA Director Gina Haspel addressed an audience in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 24.

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 have zero question in my mind that the crown prince MBS ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening", Sen.

"I think Prince Mohammed gave the order, or at least he knew about it, to butcher Khashoggi".

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", said Republican Sen.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

After Haspel's briefing, the groundswell of certainty and disgust will likely complicate the administration's efforts to protect the prince and its relationship with Saudi Arabia, even as lawmakers remain divided about how to respond.

"If they were in a Democratic administration", Graham said of Pompeo and Mattis, "I would be all over them for being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia".

Many Democrats want a "straight up or down vote" on the resolution to end all United States support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen, without amendments.

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In another explanation, a White House official said Haspel decided not to participate in part because of frustration with lawmakers leaking classified intelligence from such settings. The visit was confirmed by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private session.

Still, the agency later agreed to do an additional briefing with a select group of senators. Rand Paul-who asserted that he shouldn't have been excluded from it and that the full Senate should have been briefed rather than strictly a handful of senators.

These senators are serving notice that they won't back down without a fight - a fight that could tar both Pompeo's and Mattis' legacies.

The Trump administration has so far pledged to remain a steadfast supporter of the Saudi government, including MBS, the country's de facto leader, despite the murder of Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, who was living near Washington and contributing to The Washington Post, was killed on October 2 when he went into the consulate for paperwork related to his planned marriage.

"You can't chop up a guy in a consulate, particularly who's an American resident who's an opinion journalist for The Washington Post, and expect us to do nothing about it", said Graham.

He was killed in what USA officials have described as an elaborate plot as he visited the consulate for marriage paperwork. Accusations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing have put the Trump administration in a diplomatic bind.

He added on The Story with Martha MacCallum that "there's a certain price to be paid" if Saudi Arabia wants to remain an ally with the U.S.

Suggesting that Washington should "freeze out" the crown prince, Kennedy said, "We should not be investing in foreign wars, like the one in Yemen that is killing civilians".

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

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