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

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Istanbul's chief prosecutor has filed warrants for the arrest of a top aide to Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler and the deputy head of its foreign intelligence on suspicion of planning the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, according to Turkish officials.

U.S. officials have said that the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the October 2 killing.

Some rank-and-file senators were furious that they were excluded from the briefing.

Graham stressed that he believes the crown prince has put the decades-long US-Saudi relationship at risk. Ultimately, we want to help make sure everyone knows what a bloodthirsty despot MBS is and that the United States has no moral standing in supporting such a villain - or in sending him arms to kill Yemeni children. Graham and Paul have also said they think Congress should block a pending arms deal with the kingdom.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday complained that the deep state is keeping lawmakers in the dark about Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Turkey earlier this year.

"I can't even ask to be included in it because I didn't know it was going to happen, except for reading about it in the media".

Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he now has "zero question" in his mind "that the crown prince directed the murder".

In a statement attempting to clarify his comments later in the day, Stewart said: "We can not brush aside the murder of any journalist, and I have always said that those who are responsible for the murder of Mr. Khashoggi should be held responsible".

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Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, however, have all asserted that there is no real proof that Khashoggi's killing was ordered by MBS. "CIA Director Haspel must brief the full Senate immediately".

Haspel herself did not respond to CNN's questions as she left the briefing about whether it would satisfy senators' concerns.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has pushed to keep global attention on the murder - which he said was ordered from the highest levels of the Saudi Government - even as US President Donald Trump has said Washington should not take action that would undermine its relationship with the kingdom.

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

National Security Advisor John Bolton appeared uninterested last week in an audio recording of the killing that Turkish investigators shared with the US intelligence community. Bolton argued. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, in response, described Bolton's assertion as "imbecilic".

Senators in the coming week are likely to consider a resolution that would restrict USA support for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen, which has contributed to a humanitarian disaster. "I disagree with that assessment" Rubio said.

Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist.

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