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

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Some have questioned whether the resolution is even legal, and others said they want a response to Khashoggi's death but agree with the Trump administration that Washington should continue to back the Saudis as an essential counterweight to Iran.

A briefing by the Central Intelligence Agency director, Gina Haspel, for senators on Tuesday hardened their resolve to act against Prince Mohammed, who has the support of Trump.

Corker suggested that US President Donald Trump had condoned the murder of a journalist by refusing to condemn the Saudi crown prince.

Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to US military aid in the Saudi-led war in Yemen which has found new support in the wave of attention to Khashoggi's death.

He was referring to a bone saw that Turkish officials have said was used to dismember Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Trump has brushed aside the murder, affirming that the kingdom is a "great ally" to the U.S. He also argued that supporting the kingdom would be putting "America first".

On Nov. 28, the Senate voted 63 to 37 to advance a resolution that calls on the United States to end its military involvement in Yemen.

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Senator Bob Corker said: "I have zero question on my mind that the crown prince MBS ordered the killing". "The motion to proceed's going to pass, and we're going to be in a fearless new world", the Connecticut Democrat told Roll Call on Tuesday.

"If our government knows that Saudi leaders were involved in the murder of a U.S. resident, why shouldn't the public know this?" he said.

The senators said Haspel's briefing contradicted information from Trump, as well as Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Despite speculation that the powerful crown prince ordered the hit, the kingdom has strongly denied he was involved. In recent months, Mattis - a former Marine four-star popular with lawmakers - has defended other politically controversial moves by the Trump administration, like troop deployments to the US border and plans to reorganize the military for a Space Force.

Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters after the meeting that the senators were working on a compromise.

On Tuesday, bowing to demands from Republicans such as Sen.

While Turkish and American intelligence reports indicate that MbS was in on the murder, Trump has attempted to vindicate the prince on the grounds that punishing him would hurt USA political and financial interests and in the region and above all, hurt Israel. "You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi". "I know there are going to be a lot of efforts to try to remove the underlying language and replace it with something weaker".

Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin said the briefing with Haspel "clearly went in to an evaluation of the intelligence" and was much more informative than the session with Mattis and Pompeo.

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