White House Digs Itself in Deeper on Khashoggi

Sean Penn Arrives in Istanbul to Shoot Documentary About Khashoggi's Murder

Sean Penn Arrives in Istanbul to Shoot Documentary About Khashoggi's Murder

Republican senators emerged from a briefing today about journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing and essentially accused the Trump Administration of misleading the USA about it - and even covering it up for Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a USA resident who wrote for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October in what US officials have described as an elaborate plot. Turkey says a hit squad from Riyadh killed and dismembered him.

CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed two Senate committees on Capitol Hill earlier on Tuesday on the agency's findings about Khashoggi's murder.

Graham says, "there's not a smoking gun".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Congress is looking for an "appropriate" response to Khashoggi's murder, but said the us needs to maintain its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The White House faced a rebuke last week when the Senate voted to advance legislation that would end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting a war in Yemen, which has been described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. "It is zero chance - zero - that this happened without the crown prince".

Durbin joined Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in calling for a full-Senate briefing from Haspel. He said it seemed as though the White House's response to the Khashoggi killing was that "you can kill a journalist".

"If the Saudi government is going to be in the hands of this man for a long time to come, I find it very hard to be able to do business, because I think he's insane, I think he is unsafe", he said.

The decision to limit Haspel's briefing to fewer than a dozen senators has angered others, like Sen.

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Robert Mueller's team is facing a Tuesday court deadline to file a memorandum recommending a sentence for retired U.S. It is unusual for a president or any senior government official to comment on court proceedings.

Haspel's briefing may have been created to placate some of those senators.

The Trump administration has so far pledged to remain a steadfast supporter of the Saudi government, including MBS, the country's de facto leader, despite the murder of Khashoggi.

He cited last week's Senate briefing from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week that suggested the crown price was not involved. "Saudi Arabia makes billions and billions of dollars off of oil".

"All evidence points to that all this leads back to the crown prince", said, Alaska Republican Senator Richard Shelby, calling the murder a "reprehensible conduct".

The CIA concluded with "medium to high confidence" that his killing was "probably ordered" by MBS, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Echoing his GOP colleague following the Central Intelligence Agency briefing, Sen. He said he would "question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out".

Corker said senators are trying to figure out how to amend the resolution, which directs the president to remove most US armed forces from hostilities affecting Yemen.

Senator Corker said it would be "difficult" to come up with legislation that could pass the Senate.

The United States had, separately, sanctioned 17 Saudi officials it accused of involvement in the killing, and one of them had been a close adviser to the prince. The House hasn't moved on the issue, and Speaker Paul Ryan last week said the Yemen resolution "isn't the way to go".

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