‘Smoking saw’: After CIA briefing, Senators confident MBS behind Khashoggi killing

Senator Lindsey Graham after the CIA briefing
Credit
Reuters

So far, President Trump has given the Saudi crown prince the benefit of the doubt about his role in the incident. Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, is the leading sponsor of the measure.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said a court approved arrest warrants for former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri, who are believed to have overseen the team that killed and dismembered Khashoggi at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate in October. Other Republicans who last week had opposed a resolution directing the president to halt USA support of the Saudi war in Yemen now suggested they might change their position after hearing what Haspel had to say in the classified briefing.

"I know some people in the U.S. are saying to replace one prince with another prince, which is to be honest with you, very offensive, because they take away the population and their desire, their aspirations, away".

"And we're going to continue to press for answers".

Although her office does not have the legal authority to initiate a criminal investigation, she said it would be a welcome step to determine "what really happened and who are the ones responsible for that terrible killing".

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2.

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There remained no question among most senators on Tuesday after the closed-door briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel that Mohammed was directly connected to the killing. Sen.

When asked to explain the mixed messaging, Rubio said Trump's cabinet was "carrying out the policy of the administration", and America doesn't require a smoking gun to take action on a diplomatic level. The latter is a hushed, but vicious issue making its way through congress. Thanks to some post-9/11 politics, the president can start a war whenever he wants without anyone's approval (despite the constitution stating that congress has war powers), but Graham and 12 other Republicans are actually advancing a bill that threatens that legislation for the first time ever.

Saudi Arabia has already detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five. They did so against the advice of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who said US involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) resolution to end USA military support for the Saudi kingdom's assault on Yemen. "As to Pompeo and Mattis, I have great respect for them".

The CIA had already concluded with high confidence that the prince was behind the murder, but senators said Haspel provided a much more fulsome briefing than the one they had gotten from Cabinet officials, including new evidence. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told CNN that Haspel should not come back and brief the whole Senate as senators on both sides have demanded.

But Graham said he would not support the joint resolution that would cut off military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The United States now provides arms shipments and logistical support including intelligence and targeting assistance to the Saudi-led coalition, which includes the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries.

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