Senator: 'zero chance' Saudi prince not involved

U.S. senators more certain than ever Saudi crown prince was behind Khashoggi killing

Senator: 'zero chance' Saudi prince not involved

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaks to reporters after attending a closed-door briefing on the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by CIA Director Gina Haspel.

Corker said there is now "zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and he was kept apprised of the situation all the way through". "Guilty. So the question is, 'What do we do about that?'"

Khashoggi, a US -based Washington Post contributor who was a strong critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), was murdered in October inside the Saudi consulate in Instanbul, Turkey.

Trump said Saudi Arabia had pledged to "spend and invest $450 billion in the United States", much of it "on the purchase of military equipment".

"We're not quite there yet", Corker said ahead of the briefing.

While Senate passage of a resolution would send a strong message to Saudi Arabia, it's unlikely it would become law before the end of the year.

The president has been briefed by the Central Intelligence Agency, but his takeaway was dramatically different from that of the senators.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is driven to a meeting with Algerian Prime Minister upon the crown prince's arrival in Algiers, Algeria, on December 2.

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.'

Asked if he would be convicted of murder, Senator Corker replied: "Yes".

Ms Haspel annoyed Senators last week when she failed to appear before them when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis addressed the issue.

Ms Haspel's absence from that briefing angered senators.

One senator is complaining about having been excluded from the briefing. Sen. "It's a smoking saw", Graham told reporters, referring to the bone saw allegedly used by Saudi authorities to dismember the journalist.

The Republican lawmaker then insisted that the Saudis will be held "accountable, including the crown prince, for whatever action he may have been involved with" - just before implying that the USA must remain closely allied withSaudis because of the their role in the Yemen civil war. Trump is also very hesitant to ruin the U.S.'s relationship with the Saudis. Sen. I left the briefing being amazed by our CIA and intelligence community's capability and their analytical reasoning. Millions are suffering severe food shortages and are at risk of starvation, according to aid groups.

But many details had already leaked. The CIA has concluded that the crown prince personally ordered Khashoggi's killing, according to a senior U.S. official and a source familiar with the matter.

"When it is done, when you complete that analysis, there's no direct evidence linking [the Saudi prince] to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi", he said.

He also said that Haspel "should brief the full Senate without delay". That afternoon, senators frustrated with the briefing and the lack of response to Khashoggi's killing overwhelmingly voted to move forward with consideration of the Yemen resolution, 63-37. "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".

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