Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

CIA Director Gina Haspel To Brief Senators On Jamal Khashoggi Killing

CIA Director Gina Haspel To Brief Senators On Jamal Khashoggi Killing

This was contrasted with the various lawmakers who said Salman's guilt is unquestionable after they were briefed on the matter by CIA Director Gina Haspel.

After CIA director Gina Haspel briefed a handful of senators on Tuesday about US intelligence related to the murder of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, lawmakers said they were even more confident that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly involved in the brutal assassination.

"I think the secretary of defense and secretary of state are in a bad spot because the president has given this bear hug to MBS and to the entire Saudi regime so they are bound to carry out his freaky policy", Murphy said, using an acronym for the crown prince.

But President Donald Trump and some of his fellow Republicans have argued that Washington should not take action that would risk its relationship with Riyadh, which is viewed as an important counterweight to Iran in the Middle East.

Graham said that President Trump has worked to create a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, and he "clearly" isn't being respected. Initially, Saudi authorities had said Khashoggi, who had written articles critical of the crown prince's policies, had disappeared, after safely leaving the consulate.

The House hasn't indicated it plans to move forward with a similar debate. He said it seemed as though the White House's response to the Khashoggi killing was that "you can kill a journalist".

Khashoggi was killed - and then dismembered by a bone saw - in October at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul by a hit squad sent by bin Salman, the Central Intelligence Agency concluded. Trump has, however, imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis for their alleged role in the murder. Whatever was revealed in that Central Intelligence Agency briefing had to be irrefutable for so much of Trump's senate supporters to lash out like this.

Senators had wanted a briefing from Haspel about the CIA's assessment that bin-Salman was behind the killing but the Trump administration had sent instead secretaries of state and defence Mike Pompeo and James Mattis to bring them.

On November 20, he said: "It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't".

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and a United States resident since 2017, was killed during his visit to the consulate to obtain marriage-related paperwork on October 2.

"I'm on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, so everything they knew, whatever they learned in that meeting, we've known", he said.

Senators in the coming week are likely to consider a resolution that would restrict USA support for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen, which has contributed to a humanitarian disaster.

"I think he is complicit in the murder of Khashoggi in the highest possible level", said Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican. I have no question whatsoever now: "The crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through".

Corker said senators are trying to figure out how to amend the resolution, which directs the president to remove most US armed forces from hostilities affecting Yemen.

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