Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Top GOP senators say 'zero' doubt Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi's death

Top GOP senators say 'zero' doubt Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi's death

"They need to share the findings of these investigations but instead we see contradictory statements", he added. If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes.

Graham made the unambiguous rebuke following a classified briefing on the murder with CIA Director Gina Haspel, who is one of the only US officials who listened to the audio recording of Khashoggi's death.

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. After briefing members of the Senate on November 28, Pompeo said "there is no direct reporting connecting the Saudi crown prince to the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi".

Saudi Arabia has denied the crown prince was involved in the murder and blames Ahmed al-Asiri, the former deputy intelligence chief.

Fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who has joined a growing collection of lawmakers urging the president to take a far tougher stance against Riyadh over the killing, also attended the hour-long closed-door briefing, and minced no words afterwards. "All evidence points to that all this leads back to the crown prince", Shelby said. He said he would "question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out".

Among the options: pull back from United States involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen; deny any arms sales with Saudi Arabia; slap the crown prince with sanctions, along with a resolution saying the Senate finds him complicit in murder. "There's a smoking saw", Graham said.

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"I'm on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, so everything they knew, whatever they learned in that meeting, we've known", he said. "I think the oil prices would go through the roof".

Senators, however, were divided as to what steps to take next, following a stinging vote last week to consider a measure cutting off United States military aid to Saudi Arabia's campaign.

And a Saudi embassy spokesperson tweeted Tuesday: "At no time did HRH (His Royal Highness) the Crown Prince correspond with any Saudi officials in any government entity on harming Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen".

Democrats provided similar reactions after the briefing, which was given to leaders of Senate committees that focus on national security.

Following the sanctions, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the case of Khashoggi's murder is still not closed.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Haspel would conduct a briefing.

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The CIA has not commented publicly on its assessment of the Khashoggi killing, and Haspel spoke to just a small number of Senate leaders in a closed session.

And Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican who was not part of the briefing, said that "by the director choosing to meet with some, but not others, congratulations to her, she has pissed off everybody". It's not clear whether Haspel will be there, the aide said.

Haspel left the briefing and did not respond to CNN's questions about whether the briefing would satisfy senators' concerns.

"And I think you can conclude that without having been in that briefing or without sitting on the intelligence committee the way I do", he said.

"Every senator should hear what I heard this afternoon", Durbin said. Today there is yet another briefing, and I'm being excluded from that.

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