CIA Director Haspel to Brief Lawmakers on Khashoggi Murder

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USA intelligence officials have concluded that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, must have at least known of the plot, but President Donald Trump has equivocated over who was to blame.

USA intelligence officials have concluded that the crown prince, known informally as "MBS", must have at least known of the plot. Following the November 28 briefing, Pompeo and Mattis told reporters there was no direct evidence tying MBS to Khashoggi's murder.

Haspel delivered a closed-door briefing to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Appropriations committees on the murder of Khashoggi on Tuesday morning.

"I think the behaviour before the Khashoggi murder was beyond disturbing and I can not see him being a reliable partner to the United States". "I think he is unsafe, and he has put the relationship at risk".

Corker called on US President Donald Trump to strongly condemn Saudi Arabia for the journalist's murder and make sure that those responsible are held accountable, Reuters reported. Asked by a reporter if it would be a murder conviction, Corker replied "yes".

Khashoggi - who was a United States resident, a Washington Post contributor and a frequent critic of the Saudi Arabian government - was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October.

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.'

Soon after that briefing, led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, senators voted overwhelmingly to advance a resolution to cut American military assistance to Saudi Arabia.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Congress is looking for an "appropriate" response to Khashoggi's murder, but said the USA needs to maintain its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

At the time, a Central Intelligence Agency spokesman denied that Haspel was told to stay away from the briefing.

The CIA said Haspel didn't attend because she had already briefed congressional leaders on Khashoggi.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

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