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Central Intelligence Agency briefing on Khashoggi solidifies senators’ view of Prince Mohammed’s complicity

Central Intelligence Agency briefing on Khashoggi solidifies senators’ view of Prince Mohammed’s complicity

Reasonable observers and analysts concluded weeks ago that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome killing of Washington Post journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi. "But at the same time, it's sort of hard to call this a cover-up given the fact that everybody in that briefing last week knew that Pompeo and Mattis were misleading us, knew there was no way this murder happened without the consent and direction of MBS".

Penn is in Turkey working on a documentary about the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate on October 2 in Istanbul.

"And we're going to continue to press for answers". The Washington Post previously reported that Khalid called Khashoggi and told the journalist that he could go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was killed.

Two key Republican senators said Tuesday a briefing by Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel had only strengthened their conviction Prince Mohammed was behind the crime - a charge he denies. 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".

Some senators emphasized the need to find a balanced response.

"All evidence is pointing to MBS [Mohammed bin Salman] in this horrific murder, and there is no exculpatory evidence that's been provided by anyone - it's not there, there's a reason for that", Colorado Republican Cory Gardner told VOA.

But the debate could become a virtual trial over Prince Mohammed's responsibility for Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Trump's effort to downplay it. Senators could add amendments to further punish the kingdom.

Initially, Saudi authorities had said Khashoggi, who had written articles critical of the crown prince's policies, had disappeared, after safely leaving the consulate.

Kate Middleton's Christmas Party Outfit Is So Adorably Festive
The British military base in Cyprus is now used for both reconnaissance and bombing missions against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. As artificial snow fell the two exchanged snowballs and Kate even found herself the target of a playful attack.

"Symbols matter", Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine said.

Pompeo and Mattis are now expected to give a briefing to the House on Yemen and Saudi Arabia on December 13, ahead of a Democratic takeover of the House in January following the party's gains in the midterm elections.

Corker said he's not certain he would support pulling back from Yemen but that "I deserve the right" to back a withdrawal of USA involvement in the war effort.

Senators, however, were divided as to what steps to take next, following a stinging vote last week to consider a measure cutting off USA military aid to Saudi Arabia's campaign. John Cornyn, R-Texas, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Oct. 11, 2018 in Washington.

Trump has said arms and other trade deals with the kingdom were too valuable to the USA for him to take a hard line on the Saudis.

Trump, however, had no unkind words for MBS in an official statement released on November 20, when the president stressed that he considered Saudi Arabia a valuable ally and that arms sales to Saudi Arabia would be great for the USA economy.

"We have two separate issues", South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds told VOA. Militarily, Saudi Arabia is a staunch ally and a buffer against Iranian military expansion.

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