Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

'Zero question' MBS directed Khashoggi murder, United States senators say

U.S. senators more certain than ever Saudi crown prince was behind Khashoggi killing 'Zero question' MBS directed Khashoggi murder, United States senators say
| 05 December, 2018, 03:26

Top Republicans in the United States are attacking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul in October.

"There's not a smoking gun; there's a smoking saw", said Graham, referring to reports that Khashoggi's body was dismembered by a bone saw after he was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

President Donald Trump has declined to blame Saudi Arabia--or the Crown Prince--specifically. President Donald Trump has said stopping the sales would only help nations such as China and Russian Federation. Rand Paul issued a rhetorical broadside against the "deep state" this week for freezing him out of a Central Intelligence Agency briefing on slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. Bob Corker, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, adding that if it were a murder case sent to a jury, "he would be convicted in 30 minutes".

Pompeo and Mattis tried to dissuade senators from punishing Saudi Arabia with the resolution, saying US involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Graham said that President Trump has worked to create a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, and he "clearly" isn't being respected. The Senate overwhelmingly voted last week to move forward on a resolution curtailing USA backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

"It is zero chance - zero - that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince", he said.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

The CIA director met with a small group of senators, including the chairmen and ranking senators on the key national security committees.

He went on to suggest that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis were being "technical" "good soldiers" for the goals of the Trump administration.

The Senate is reportedly due to vote in the coming days on a measure that would cut off USA military support for Saudi military operations in Yemen.

He argued that Pompeo and Mattis needed to be asked specifically if they disagreed with the CIA's conclusion there was "no smoking gun" to link the crown prince to the murder, as Mattis has claimed.

The Senate could take a vote on proceeding to the Yemen resolution next week.

Ms Haspel's absence from that briefing angered senators. "It is my hope that the Senate will act and send a strong, unequivocal message that such actions can not stand and I believe that my legislation with Senator Graham is the appropriate response".

"To let it stand, in essence allows somebody like MBS to continue with immunity which is inappropriate", Corker said, adding that the Trump administration "puts Congress in a place where now we feel like we need to speak out, that this can not stand".


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