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

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

Last week, 14 of Mr Trump's fellow Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate and rarely break from the President, defied his wishes and voted with Democrats to advance a measure that would end USA support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen. Bob Maginnis weighs in.

CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed senators on what US intelligence agencies know about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said he believes if the crown prince were put on trial, a jury would find him guilty in "about 30 minutes".

Khashoggi, a US -based Washington Post contributor who was a strong critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), was murdered in October inside the Saudi consulate in Instanbul, Turkey. Mattis said there was no "smoking gun" implicating the Saudi crown prince.

The senator said there was indeed a "smoking saw" - a reference to the reported bonesaw that was brought to dismember Khashoggi - and that Pompeo was being a "good soldier" by toeing the Administration's line.

Other senators emerging from a briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel also blame the Saudi de facto ruler for the murder despite Trump's unwavering support for the prince in the wake of his arms deal with Riyadh. Her absence upset lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, with Graham vowing to hold up Congress' agenda for the current lame-duck session until he heard from the Central Intelligence Agency director.

Senators from both parties were upset that Haspel was not part of a closed-door session with top administration officials last week about Khashoggi's killing and the USA response. "You have to balance all those considerations as we move forward on this". The Senate ultimately passed that measure by a very wide margin, and debate on the resolution itself is expected to begin soon.

Responding on "Outnumbered Overtime", Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said sanctions must be passed by Congress against Saudi Arabia and MBS should not be invited to global events like last week's G-20 in Argentina. Human rights groups say the war is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Tuesday on Capitol Hill. "But not at all costs".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Tuesday that he has read "every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of United States government".

Haspel's absence at a closed-door briefing on Saudi Arabia last week rankled key lawmakers.

The CIA claimed Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the assassination of journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.

"If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a bad mistake", Trump said on November 20, when he released a lengthy statement.

He added: "We're looking for an appropriate response that doesn't completely fracture the relationship".

"This is a very, very hard challenge because we have to, on one hand, hold them accountable - including the crown prince for whatever action he may have been involved with", Stewart added.

"This is the very definition of the deep state", Paul told Fox News.

Graham said after the briefing that he would push for a nonbinding resolution that the crown prince was "complicit" in Khashoggi's murder.

CIA Director Gina Haspel will give a closed briefing to leaders of several US Senate committees after she failed to take part in a Senate briefing by Trump administration officials on Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said after the briefing that somebody should be punished.

Related Articles