'Zero question' MBS directed Khashoggi murder, USA senators say

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder

GOP senators condemn Saudi crown prince for ordering Khashoggi killing

"I would really question someone's judgment if they couldn't figure this out", Graham continued.

Making some of their strongest accusations so far, both Republicans and Democrats said they still wanted to pass legislation to send a message to Saudi Arabia that the United States condemned the death of Khashoggi.

The Journal, the Post, and The New York Times have all reported that the Central Intelligence Agency has evidence Prince Mohammed exchanged 11 messages with his close aide Saud al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder, just before and after it took place.

"There's not a smoking gun". "There's a smoking saw", Graham said.

Republican Senator Bob Corker said he has zero doubt in his mind that Prince Mohammed ordered and monitored the killing of Khashoggi.

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", Graham said.

"You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under command of MBS, and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi".

Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, shook his head no.

"Let me put it this way", Corker answered.

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder

Many Democrats want a "straight up or down vote" on the resolution to end all U.S. support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen, without amendments.

It's unclear whether or how that resolution will move forward. The vote last week set up debate on the measure, which could happen as soon as next week, but senators are still in negotiations on whether to amend it and what it should say.

Haspel's briefing came about a week after Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo similarly failed to stave off outrage among leading lawmakers with their own briefing on U.S. -Saudi relations, urging them to vote down a resolution that would end support for the war against Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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.

Haspel's testimony has been regarded as key by senators sitting on the fence about condemning the Saudi leader, since it was she who traveled to Ankara to hear the recording by Turkish intelligence of Khashoggi's last moments. The Saudis have acknowledged that government officials were responsible for the killing but describe it as a rogue operation and say the crown prince was not involved.

USA intelligence officials have concluded that the crown prince must have at least known of the plot, but Trump has been reluctant to pin the blame.

He added on The Story with Martha MacCallum that "there's a certain price to be paid" if Saudi Arabia wants to remain an ally with the U.S.

Senator Graham is also introducing a separate resolution to officially blame the Saudi crown prince for Khashoggi's death.

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