Mattis contended it is necessary and possible to demand accountability from the Saudi Government, which has told several, shifting versions of Khashoggi's fate at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, "while recognising the reality of Saudi Arabia as a necessary partner".
A few senators said the CIA's absence from the briefing could impact their colleagues' decision on whether to vote to cut off military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Senators voted 63-37 to advance the measure. Lindsey Graham voted in favor, saying he changed his mind on the legislation, "because I'm pissed".
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., had requested Haspel appear.
"There are strike-all amendments that would be too weak for me to support and I imagine the other cosponsors to support", Murphy said.
But then, Mattis and Pompeo also told the Senators that no "direct reporting" ties Jamal Khashoggi's murder to Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman - a claim that stands at odds with the CIA's analysis.
Supporting Trump's stance, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday that he did not listen to recordings of Khashoggi's killing.
The Senate on Wednesday advanced a resolution that would end USA military support for the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen that human rights advocates say is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing. "They said they are going to brief me, and I said appreciate it".
Mattis and Pompeo both said the U.S.is on the verge of starting peace talks. Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. - invokes the 1973 War Powers Act, and instructs the president to remove USA forces from "hostilities" in the fight against the Houthis, an Iranian-backed rebel group in northern Yemen. That said, it is far from clear that there are enough votes in the Senate to actually pass the bill - and it is nearly certain that the lame-duck Republican majority in the House will not take it up.
'Freakishly Huge' Cow Is Too Large To Be Slaughtered
If he wants to go for a walk, they follow, if he wants to sit down, they wait around for him to get up. But after a few more rotations of cattle, the cattle farmers "realised he wasn't stopping growing".
The U.S. intelligence community, however, will not be represented at the briefing.
"There is no smoking gun", Mattis told Pentagon reporters, stressing he still believes those responsible should be punished.
Worldwide, pressure has grown to punish Saudi Arabia for its role in the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and US resident who was tortured and killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Saudi Arabia has denied allegations that Salman played a role in Khashoggi's death, blaming the killing on rogue agents.
They opposed any challenge to United States support to the war in Yemen on the grounds that it would strengthen Iran, against which Washington has imposed punishing sanctions and is preparing for war. That frustration is fueling a new legislation to withdraw US military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen as a way to send a signal to the kingdom.
Pompeo said the United States would provide an additional $131 million for food aide in Yemen.
Some were particularly angry that their request to hear directly from Central Intelligence Agency chief Gina Haspel - who has heard audio of the Khashoggi murder provided by Turkey - had been turned down by the administration.
Argentine law makes it unusually easy to bring global human rights cases, even if they're unrelated to Argentina, where a military regime killed or disappeared some 30,000 people between 1976 and 1983. Trump has praised a pending arms deal with the kingdom that he says will provide the U.S. with jobs and lucrative payments, though some outside assessments say the economic benefits are exaggerated.