Graham Breaks With Trump: 'Zero Chance' MBS Wasn't Involved In Khashoggi Murder

05 December, 2018, 03:28 | Author: Bert Pena
  • U.S. senators more certain than ever Saudi crown prince was behind Khashoggi killing

Senator John Kennedy has likened Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to infamous suspected Mexican crime lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán ahead of a small briefing allegedly linking the royal to the murder of a prominent journalist.

Graham called the evidence overwhelming, and said those who deny the crown prince's involvement - including President Trump - are ignoring the evidence. "There's a smoking saw". The royal has been accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Lawmakers briefed Tuesday by CIA Director Gina Haspel accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of being responsible for the killing of Washington Post journalist and Indiana State University grad Jamal Khashoggi.

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

Pompeo and Mattis tried to dissuade senators from punishing Saudi Arabia with the resolution, saying US involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

With relations with Riyadh already fraught, President Donald Trump has declined to accept the conclusion that the powerful heir to the Saudi throne approved the murder, saying there is no direct evidence of it.

Graham also said that he would not support the current US military efforts to support Saudi Arabia in its war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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.'

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

The senators spoke to reporters as they left the closed-door briefing for some Senate committee leaders and Senate leaders by CIA Director Haspel.

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel discussed the killing to a select group of United States senators behind closed doors.

Senators from both parties were upset that Haspel was not part of a closed-door session with top administration officials last week about Khashoggi's killing and the US response. Human rights groups say the war is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing. The senator had previously said he would refuse to take a position on the question before hearing Haspel's testimony on the spy agency's findings, which differ from the positions voiced by the Trump administration.

Graham and Paul, who frequently find themselves at odds, are also aligned this time in wanting the Senate to adopt a resolution tying the Saudi prince with Khashoggi's killing.

The Yemen legislation could set up a bitter year-end Senate floor fight over USA war powers.

US Senator Bob Corker, the current head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, also said after the meeting that there was no doubt in his mind that MBS ordered Khashoggi's murder.

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