‘Smoking saw’: After CIA briefing, Senators confident MBS behind Khashoggi killing

Senator Bob Corker after being briefed by the CIA

Senator Bob Corker after being briefed by the CIA Credit Reuters

The resolution, which is mainly symbolic, says Saudi Arabia's crown prince is "complicit" in the killing.

But two key US Republican senators said a Tuesday briefing by the CIA's director only strengthened their conviction that Prince Mohammed directed the murder.

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) reported that the two officials were Saud al-Qahtani and General Ahmed al-Asiri who are said to be close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Graham and Democratic Sen.

Mr Khashoggi was killed - and is believed to have been dismembered - after entering the Saudi consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage.

"Saudi Arabia's a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving - but not at all costs", Graham said. Corker said it's going to be hard to determine what measure the Senate can pass with overwhelming support.

Trump has called the murder "terrible" but noted that the crown prince had denied any knowledge of the killing ahead of time.

The crown prince ordered and monitored the killing, Senator Bob Corker said.

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

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"The prosecution's move to issue arrest warrants for Asiri and Qahtani reflects the view that the Saudi authorities won't take formal action against those individuals", Reuters quoted one Turkish official as saying on December 5.

Erdogan maintained pressure on Riyadh this week in an interview with reporters during his visit to South America, urging the kingdom to provide further details and suggesting Turkey could take the issue to the United Nations.

The fierce spat between the White House and Congress has fueled new levels of support for a resolution that would demand an end to USA involvement in the war in Yemen-a push that could trigger an unprecedented showdown over the US government's authority to wage war.

Haspel's briefing was limited to the chairs and ranking members of the Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Intelligence committees, as well as the Appropriation subcommittee, and majority and minority leaders.

"It is a zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince", Graham told The Washington Post.

A Saudi prosecutor charged 11 government officials in October for alleged involvement, some whom could face the death penalty if found guilty. You'd have to be "willfully blind" to not conclude Mohammed was responsible, he said. "I disagree with that assessment" Rubio said.

And Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican who was not part of the briefing, said that "by the director choosing to meet with some, but not others, congratulations to her, she has pissed off everybody".

Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin said the briefing with Haspel "clearly went in to an evaluation of the intelligence" and was much more informative than the session with Mattis and Pompeo.

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