Wednesday, 19 June, 2019

Menendez after CIA's Khashoggi briefing: Trump, Mattis, Pompeo making 'wrong calculation'

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder GOP senators condemn Saudi crown prince for ordering Khashoggi killing
Pablo Mccormick | 05 December, 2018, 04:56

"If MBS were in front of a jury, he'd be convicted in less than 30 minutes".

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaks to reporters after attending a closed-door briefing on the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by CIA Director Gina Haspel.

The war in Yemen and the broader issue of the behavior of the Saudi crown prince are not entirely related, and that will be the case that senators opposing the War Powers measure are sure to make when the floor debate takes place.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who wrote for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. "Prince Mohammed. he really was the original El Chapo, literally", said Louisiana Senator John Kennedy on Tuesday as US President Donald Trump was under pressure for maintaining support for the murderous prince.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Congress is looking for an "appropriate" response to Khashoggi's murder, but said the USA needs to maintain its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Sources familiar with the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi's death told the press that the murder "was organized by a high-ranking officer with the General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia's main intelligence service".

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a critic of Saudi Arabia, said that excluding some lawmakers is "the very definition of the deep state" and that he suspected that the Trump administration is attempting to get some lawmakers to switch their votes on the resolution by giving them information. "I would much rather ... the administration speak to this".

Republican senators emerged from a briefing today about journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing and essentially accused the Trump Administration of misleading the U.S. about it - and even covering it up for Saudi Arabia.

Senate responds to Trump's support of Saudi Arabia with a bill that would pull US support from Saudi-led forces fighting in Yemen; Lt. Col.

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"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", said Republican Sen. "It is zero chance - zero - that this happened without the crown prince... you have to be willfully blind" to believe he wasn't involved, Graham said. The Senate overwhelmingly voted last week to move forward on a resolution curtailing US backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Though Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke with senators ahead of the vote, which ultimately passed Wednesday, many lawmakers were upset that Haspel made no appearance.

USA newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, have reported that the Central Intelligence Agency has evidence that Prince Mohammed exchanged 11 messages with his close aide Saud al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder, just before and after it took place.

They say Gina Haspel is to talk to Senate leaders leaders on Tuesday. "I think temperatures are up by all involved ... so figuring out something that can pass overwhelmingly still is going to be hard because some people want to tie the Yemen piece into the Khashoggi piece". He said he would "question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out". "Now the question is how do you separate the Saudi Crown Prince and his group from the nation itself?" "We're with Saudi Arabia".

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