GOP senators condemn Saudi crown prince for ordering Khashoggi killing

GOP senators condemn Saudi crown prince for ordering Khashoggi killing

GOP senators condemn Saudi crown prince for ordering Khashoggi killing

Their verdict came after a private briefing on the evidence from Gina Haspel, the Central Intelligence Agency director, and increased the prospect of financial consequences for the kingdom, such as cutting off United States military aid for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Lawmakers briefed Tuesday by CIA Director Gina Haspel accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of being responsible for the killing of Washington Post journalist and Indiana State University grad Jamal Khashoggi.

Graham stressed that he believes the crown prince has put the decades-long US-Saudi relationship at risk.

Trump has called the murder "terrible" but noted that the crown prince had denied any knowledge of the killing ahead of time.

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 US backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

"And the second thing is what is in the best interest of the United States and this is a very, very hard challenge because we have to, on one hand, hold them accountable, including the crown prince, for whatever action he may be involved with", the Utah congressman said. "You have to balance all of those considerations as we move forward on this".

In a surprising turn of events, the GOP is actually turning on Trump over his (lack of a) position on Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

Lindsey Graham, who says he will push the Senate to vote on a resolution that finds the crown prince complicit in the murder, said one would have to "be willfully blind" not to come to the conclusion that Khashoggi's death was orchestrated and organized by people under the crown prince.

Earlier, Istanbul's chief prosecutor filed a request for warrants on suspicion of planning the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, documents seen by TRT World said on Wednesday.

Last week, Canada also slapped 17 sanctions on Saudis who were involved in the murder.

Graham, a confidant of Trump, had said he would refuse to support "any key vote" until Haspel spoke to lawmakers.

Haspel had faced mounting pressure to speak to senators and more fully explain the CIA's findings after the White House last week excluded her from a Senate briefing.

Khashoggi, a USA resident since 2017, was killed during his visit to the consulate to obtain marriage-related paperwork on October 2. "I know there are going to be a lot of efforts to try to remove the underlying language and replace it with something weaker".

He added on The Story with Martha MacCallum that "there's a certain price to be paid" if Saudi Arabia wants to remain an ally with the U.S.

U.S. intelligence community assessments and experts said it's unlikely the killing could have happened without the crown prince's knowledge.

"Now, the question is, how do you separate the Saudi crown prince and his group from the nation itself", he said.

Corker is confident that the crown prince is culpable in the murder. But the Senate could vote to end that arms sale or end U.S. support of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.

Haspel's briefing was limited to the chairs and ranking members of the Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Intelligence committees, as well as the Appropriation subcommittee, and majority and minority leaders. He said he would "question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out".

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