USA senators blast Saudi prince over Khashoggi, after Central Intelligence Agency chief briefing

USA senators blast Saudi prince over Khashoggi, after Central Intelligence Agency chief briefing

USA senators blast Saudi prince over Khashoggi, after Central Intelligence Agency chief briefing

After a classified briefing between lawmakers and the Central Intelligence Agency on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, senators united in a rare bipartisan agreement that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly involved in the killing. In November, the president said bin Salman may have had no knowledge of the killing, and in any event the USA relationship with Saudi Arabia should not be jeopardized over it.

"If the crown prince went in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes". Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), referring to media reports that Khashoggi was dismembered with a bone saw inside the consulate.

Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2 and never walked out.

Senator Graham said the Saudi royal was "a wrecking ball", "crazy" and "dangerous".

Tuesday's briefing on Khashoggi's killing was limited to a small group of lawmakers, including those of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, Intelligence Committee, and Foreign Relations Committee.

Asiri and al-Qahtani were sacked from their positions, according to a statement released on October 20.

"At no time did HRH the Crown Prince correspond with any saudi officials in any government entity on harming Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen", she said on Twitter.

Durbin joined Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in calling for a full-Senate briefing from Haspel.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) also reported that in August 2017, MBS had told associates that if his efforts to persuade Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia were unsuccessful, "we could possibly lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements", according to the assessment. The murder has become a lightning rod, dividing the White House and a usually supportive Republican-led Senate. The vote last week set up debate on the measure, which could happen as soon as next week, but senators are still in negotiations on whether to amend it and what it should say.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was shunned by some leaders at the G20 summit
RICARDO MAZALAN APSaudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was shunned by some leaders at the G20 summit

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said the briefing "reinforced the need for a strong response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi".

"I'm not going to destroy the world economy and I'm not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia", the president said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis led the earlier briefing and tried to dissuade senators from punishing Saudi Arabia with a resolution to curtail USA backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

"The views that I had before have only solidified", said senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Echoing Trump's public comments on the killing, Pompeo said after last week's briefing with senators that there was "no direct reporting" connecting the crown prince to the murder.

Some senators have complained about the way the briefing was handled today, including Kentucky Sen.

Senator Graham is also introducing a separate resolution to officially blame the Saudi crown prince for Khashoggi's death.

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

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