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No doubt that MBS ordered Khashoggi killing, says Central Intelligence Agency

05 December 2018

'I think he's insane.

A secret briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel seems to have solidified the belief of several senators that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is personally responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Graham was convinced the administration was willfully ignoring the evidence linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman with Khashoggi's death to avoid having to sever ties with the kingdom. "It is zero chance - zero - that this happened without the crown prince".

"I think the behaviour before the Khashoggi murder was beyond disturbing and I can not see him being a reliable partner to the United States".

After yesterday's briefing from Gina Haspel, the Central Intelligence Agency director, Lindsey Graham, a Republican ally of Mr Trump, said: "There's not a smoking gun".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of Trump, supports a Senate rebuke of the Saudi government, despite the Trump administration's reluctance to do it. "I would imagine if they were in a Democratic administration, I would be all over them for being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia, but since I have such respect for them, I'm going to assume that they're being good soldiers".

"Let me put it this way", Corker answered.

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.

"They're all in with the crown prince", Menendez said.

"I think if [the crown prince] was in front of a jury, he would have a unanimous verdict in about 30 minutes", he said.

The crown prince is "crazy" and "a wrecking ball" who is "complicit in the murder of Mr Khashoggi to the highest level possible", Graham said in withering criticism of an American ally.

National Security Advisor John Bolton appeared uninterested last week in an audio recording of the killing that Turkish investigators shared with the USA intelligence community.

CIA's decision to brief only select few members of the Senate is the work of "deep state" trying to keep everyone in the dark, a USA senator said on Tuesday. Trump said in a statement on November 20.

The case has highlighted growing tensions between the Trump administration and the Central Intelligence Agency, which concluded last month that MBS ordered Khashoggi's murder.

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.

The unusual vote came shortly after a briefing by Mr Trump's Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, who urged senators not to do anything to undermine the US-Saudi relationship.

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

Senators from both parties were angry last week that Haspel didn't attend a closed-door session with top administration officials about Khashoggi's killing and the United States response, which many senators have said is lacking. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said.

No doubt that MBS ordered Khashoggi killing, says Central Intelligence Agency