CIA chief to brief lawmakers on Khashoggi murder

U.S. senators more certain than ever Saudi crown prince was behind Khashoggi killing

U.S. senators more certain than ever Saudi crown prince was behind Khashoggi killing

"I have not seen that intelligence, nor have I even seen the conclusions", he said. The White House official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to discuss internal matters publicly.

Ms Haspel annoyed Senators last week when she failed to appear before them when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis addressed the issue.

At the time, a Central Intelligence Agency spokesman denied that Haspel was told to stay away from the briefing.

Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two months ago. Human rights groups say it is indiscriminately leading to civilian deaths.

They overwhelmingly approved the resolution, 63-37, on an unexpectedly wide bipartisan vote. The journalist, who had lived for a time in the USA and wrote for The Washington Post, had been critical of the Saudi regime.

Khashoggi, a former Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, went missing October 2 following what was supposed to be a routine stop at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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.'

The Trump administration has said that there is no "direct evidence" of the prince's culpability, with the defence secretary James Mattis, insisting there was no "smoking gun".

Last week, USA senators moved forward with a resolution to end USA support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, a historic step that was widely seen as a rebuke to Trump's unwavering support for the Saudis. Following the November 28 briefing, Pompeo and Mattis told reporters there was no direct evidence tying MBS to Khashoggi's murder.

That reluctance to blame the crown prince has enraged some Republicans. "After all, someone's got to do it".

"We're not quite there yet", Corker said ahead of the briefing.

Questioned about Haspel's absence from last week's briefing, a Central Intelligence Agency spokesman said that the director had already briefed congressional leaders on Khashoggi and that no one was keeping her away.

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