Corker Blasts Trump Support of Saudi Prince

Khashoggi murder: CIA chief Haspel 'to brief Congress'

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The proposed resolution says Prince Mohammed was in control of security forces at the time of Khashoggi's murder and that the Senate has "a high level of confidence" that the prince was complicit in the killing.

Corker was among the senators who participated in a briefing earlier Tuesday with CIA Director Gina Haspel about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Initially, Saudi authorities had said Khashoggi, who had written articles critical of the crown prince's policies, had disappeared, after safely leaving the consulate.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of senators met on Capitol Hill to reach an agreement on how to target Saudi Arabia and its young leader in response to the murder, as well as the kingdom's controversial war in Yemen.

Mr Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and inside was tortured, drugged and dismembered before being disposed of.

Istanbul's chief prosecutor has filed warrants for the arrest of a top aide to Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler and the deputy head of its foreign intelligence on suspicion of planning the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, two Turkish officials said yesterday.

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.

The murder has damaged Riyadh's worldwide reputation and Western countries including the US, France and Canada have placed sanctions on almost 20 Saudi nationals.

"If the crown prince went in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes", Sen.

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who has already established himself as a Trump critic, was even bolder in his criticism.

"Not everything needs to be secret", the Connecticut Democrat tweeted.

While Saudi Arabia has admitted that the murder was "premeditated", it has vehemently denied that the royal family had any knowledge or involvement.

"It is zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince", he told reporters Tuesday.

Senators had wanted a briefing from Haspel about the CIA's assessment that bin-Salman was behind the killing but the Trump administration had sent instead secretaries of state and defence Mike Pompeo and James Mattis to bring them.

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

Saudi Arabia has detained 21 people and seeking the death penalty for five. You'd have to be "willfully blind" to not conclude Mohammed was responsible, he said. Whatever was revealed in that Central Intelligence Agency briefing had to be irrefutable for so much of Trump's senate supporters to lash out like this. "As to Pompeo and Mattis, I have great respect for them".

USA intelligence assessments and experts say it is unlikely the killing could have happened without the crown prince's knowledge.

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