'Crazy' crown prince is 'complicit' in Jamal Khashoggi killing, USA senator says

'Crazy' crown prince is 'complicit' in Jamal Khashoggi killing, USA senator says

'Crazy' crown prince is 'complicit' in Jamal Khashoggi killing, USA senator says

Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, shook his head no, when asked if he thought Haspel's briefing had changed any minds.

Lindsey Graham, a Republican, made the blunt comments following a briefing from the Central Intelligence Agency about Mr Khashoggi, who was killed after he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 2 October.

The Saudis denied for several days having involvement in Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and killing.

Last week, 14 of Mr Trump's fellow Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate and rarely break from the President, defied his wishes and voted with Democrats to advance a measure that would end United States support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen.

In an interview with CNN last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they had no direct evidence to prove Prince Mohammed was behind the murder. Frustrated with the administration's response, senators voted last week to move forward on a resolution curtailing USA backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Graham invoked the memory of the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ), saying that if he were alive "I believe he would be standing with me today, leading the charge to come down like a ton of bricks" on bin Salman for the threat he's posed to the U.S. -Saudi relationship and actions which have "destabilized the region".

Corker added, "And if he (MBS) were in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder in about 30 minutes".

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.'

"If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a awful mistake", Trump said on November 20, when he released a lengthy statement.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubts over the USA intelligence agency's assessment, however, while Saudi officials have repeatedly denied that the crown prince had any knowledge of Khashoggi's murder or its subsequent cover-up.

Senators were upset that Haspel did not appear with Mattis and Pompeo, which led to Tuesday's session. "Looking the other way is not appropriate but a complete fracture with Saudi Arabia in my view is not in our best interest long term".

In a column for the Wall Street Journal today, Graham wrote that the killing and other moves by the Saudi regime showed "astounding arrogance entitlement" and disregard for global norms. "After all, someone's got to do it". He said, while also noting, "We're with Saudi Arabia". He said finding a compromise will be hard because some lawmakers don't want to tie Yemen to the Khashoggi killing.

Still, the agency later agreed to do an additional briefing with a select group of senators.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said after the briefing that somebody should be punished. Graham has also pushed for the Magnitsky Act sanctions issued against the 15 assassins to be extended to the crown prince as well.




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