Central Intelligence Agency director convinces senators of Saudi crown prince's role in Khashoggi murder

Lester Mason
December 6, 2018

In recent months, Mattis - a former Marine four-star popular with lawmakers - has defended other politically controversial moves by the Trump administration, like troop deployments to the USA border and plans to reorganize the military for a Space Force.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday night that he's going to come down "like a ton of bricks" on Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia has said the crown prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

"It's time for the United States to be out of that war", said Sen. But the Senate could vote to end that arms sale or end U.S. support of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. He complained that the "deep state" was blocking him from important information.

It was unclear whether Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, the U.S. newspaper said, but he made the call at the discretion of his brother, MBS. "There's no way in the world those individuals came out and lied because they didn't".

In the Khasoggi case, Trump has repeatedly avoided rebuking Saudi Arabia, pointing to the economic benefits of USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Riyadh's role in preventing a spike in oil prices. He's also argued its unknowable whether Khashoggi was involved.

Saudi officials say the men acted on their own authority and did not receive instructions from bin Salman to murder Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident with legal residency in the United States.

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.

US Senator Bob Corker, the current head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, also said he is certain that MBS ordered Khashoggi's murder. "Let me just put it this way: I think if [the crown prince] was in front of a jury, he would have a unanimous verdict in about 30 minutes", he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C. says he's convinced that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was
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Assiri often sat in during Prince Mohammed's closed-door meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries and Qahtani was a key counsellor to the crown prince.

Blunt is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the fourth-ranking member of Senate GOP leadership.

"I'm neither excusing it, I'm making an observation".

Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said in a statement that "every Senator should hear what I heard this afternoon".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the order for Khashoggi's killing came from the highest level of the Saudi government but probably not King Salman, putting the spotlight instead on Salman's heir and de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed. Lindsey Graham of SC, the administration sent in CIA Director Gina Haspel to brief a select group of senators from key committees on the agency's findings about the Khashoggi killing. He said it seemed as though the White House's response to the Khashoggi killing was that "you can kill a journalist".

Graham later agreed with the sentiment, tweeting, "On this, I stand with Rand!".

Graham will no longer support arms sales to Saudi Arabia as long as Mohammed is in power, The Washington Post reported.

"What makes you believe he wouldn't take an American weapon system and give it to the Chinese?"


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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