CIA Director Haspel to Brief Senate Leaders on Khashoggi's Death

Frederick Owens
December 4, 2018

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

Appearing on "America's Newsroom" Tuesday, Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said this is "the very definition of the deep state". President Donald Trump has equivocated over who is to blame.

"There is not a smoking gun, there is a smoking saw", Republican Senator Lindsay Graham told reporters, also after the briefing.

Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, shook his head no, when asked if he thought Haspel's briefing had changed any minds.

"I think the reason (Mattis and Pompeo) 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", Graham said.

Khashoggi was killed October 2 in what USA officials have described as an elaborate plot at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, which he had visited for marriage paperwork.

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.'

"The views that I had before have only solidified", said Menendez, who has called for the United States to respond forcefully to Khashoggi's murder and supports legislation to end USA support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis had told senators last week there was no direct evidence of the crown prince's involvement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Congress is looking for an "appropriate" response to Khashoggi's murder, but said the US needs to maintain its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Last week, senators rebuked President Donald Trump's administration when they were denied a Central Intelligence Agency briefing on the murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist.

At the time, a Central Intelligence Agency spokesman denied that Haspel was told to stay away from the briefing. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said that he couldn't even have asked for an invitation to the briefing because he only found out about it from the media.

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