'Crazy' crown prince is 'complicit' in Jamal Khashoggi killing, United States senator says

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"I think the reason (Mattis and Pompeo) don't draw the conclusion that he's complicit is because the administration doesn't want to go down that road, not because there's not evidence to suggest he's complicit", Graham said.

The senator said there was indeed a "smoking saw" - a reference to the reported bonesaw that was brought to dismember Khashoggi - and that Pompeo was being a "good soldier" by toeing the Administration's line.

He also advocated suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia until those responsible for Khashoggi's murder are held to account.

The CIA reportedly believes Prince Mohammed is responsible, as do many U.S. politicians, but not President Donald Trump.

Senators leaving a briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel say they are even more convinced that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Tuesday's briefing comes as the Senate weighs punishing the longtime Middle East ally over the killing.

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 voted for a resolution last week that would cancel US support for Saudi Arabia's involvement in the civil war in Yemen.

"I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept appraised of the situation all the way through it", Corker told reporters.

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.'

Menendez spoke to reporters as he left a closed-door briefing for some Senate committee leaders and Senate leaders by CIA Director Gina Haspel.

After reports that the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's assassination in the Istanbul consulate on Oct 2, Trump issued a statement saying US-Saudi relations and oil market stability were too important to rock over the scandal.

The senators said Haspel's briefing contradicted information from Trump, as well as Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Human rights groups say the war is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing.

Ms Haspel's absence from that briefing angered 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. The bill is pending further action on the Senate floor.

The Senate could take a vote on proceeding to the Yemen resolution next week. Asked if he would be convicted of murder, Corker replied "Yes".

He also said that Haspel "should brief the full Senate without delay".

He said he was working with colleagues on how to amend the resolution, and he had not had suggestions from the Trump administration on how it might prefer to proceed.

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