"Crazy, Wrecking Ball": US Senators Blast Saudi Prince Over Khashoggi

"Crazy, Wrecking Ball": US Senators Blast Saudi Prince Over Khashoggi

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and a U.S. resident since 2017, was killed during his visit to the consulate to obtain marriage-related paperwork on October 2.

Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN after a briefing with Haspel that the prince, known as MBS, "ordered, monitored, the killing" of the father of four.

But two key US Republican senators said a Tuesday briefing by the CIA's director only strengthened their conviction that Prince Mohammed directed the murder.

In a blistering attack, Senator Lindsey Graham said he had "high confidence" Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, BBC reported. Pompeo said there was "no direct reporting" connecting the crown prince to the murder, and Mattis said there was "no smoking gun" making the connection.

Khashoggi, a one-time royal insider who had been critical of the crown prince recently, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate on October 2.

The briefing will take place after the Central Intelligence Agency was excluded last week when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke with senators about the journalist's killing.

In a column for The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Graham wrote that the killing and other moves by the Saudi regime showed "astounding arrogance entitlement" and disregard for global norms.

Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, went to Twitter to voice his opinion, smashing the caps lock to say "ENOUGH!" in regards to Saudi Arabia's behavior.

The United States now provides arms shipments and logistical support including intelligence and targeting assistance to the Saudi-led coalition, which includes the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries.

Senators, however, were divided as to what steps to take next, following a stinging vote last week to consider a measure cutting off United States military aid to Saudi Arabia's campaign. Some senators want to pass the Yemen resolution.

The U.S. has slapped sanctions on Saudis involved in the murder. Corker said it's going to be hard to determine what measure the Senate can pass with overwhelming support.

"Until now, we have patiently requested information about the investigations in Saudi Arabia but unfortunately we haven't received any information".

Saudi Arabia has denied the crown prince was involved in the murder and blames Ahmed al-Asiri, the former deputy intelligence chief.

The CIA has not commented publicly on its assessment of the Khashoggi killing, and Haspel spoke to just a small number of Senate leaders in a closed session.

Erdogan has said the order for Khashoggi's killing probably did not come from King Salman, putting the spotlight instead on Salman's heir and de facto ruler Prince Mohammed.

"I have always said that those responsible for the murder of Mr. Khashoggi should be held responsible". Corker. Asked why the briefing was limited, he said, "I don't know".

One senator is complaining about having been excluded from the briefing. Sen.

Going against his own intelligence agency, and not for the first time, Trump has all but given a clean chit to the prince citing lack of clinching evidence, Saudi investments, touting a figure of around $400 billion and strategic help in combatting Iranian influence in the region. It's not clear whether Haspel will be there, the aide said.

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