CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder


"I think the oil prices would go through the roof". "It's a smoking saw", Graham told reporters, referring to the bone saw allegedly used by Saudi authorities to dismember the journalist.

"Saudi Arabia's a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving - but not at all costs", Graham said.

Watch above, via CNN.

Haspel's testimony has been regarded as key by senators sitting on the fence about condemning the Saudi leader, since it was she who traveled to Ankara to hear the recording by Turkish intelligence of Khashoggi's last moments.

"And the second thing is what is in the best interest of the United States and this is a very, very hard challenge because we have to, on one hand, hold them accountable, including the crown prince, for whatever action he may be involved with", the Utah congressman said.

That reluctance to blame the crown prince has enraged some Republicans.

Menendez, in his CNN interview, said Trump, Pompeo and Mattis were "all toeing the same line" and wrongly assuming it was in the strategic benefit of the USA - including on Iran and global oil prices - to avoid blaming the Saudi crown prince.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was born in Saudi Arabia, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October.

"If our government knows that Saudi leaders were involved in the murder of a United States resident, why shouldn't the public know this?"

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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. John McCain, who has been on board with much of President Donald Trump's agenda since McCain's death in August, Graham has sided with critics of Trump's Saudi Arabia policy over the Khashoggi incident.

Chase Thomas, executive director of the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, said Stewart was continuing to blindly defend Trump at all costs.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who demanded the briefing with Haspel, said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

Last week, a combination of Republican and Democratic senators voted, 63-37, to advance a resolution to end USA support for Saudi forces in Yemen.

During that hearing, Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both parrotted the White House line that, as President Trump tweeted: "Maybe he did, maybe he didn't". That afternoon, senators frustrated with the briefing and the lack of response to Khashoggi's killing overwhelmingly voted to move forward with consideration of the Yemen resolution, 63-37. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said.

But "the brutality of this murder is beyond my sharing it with you", Graham said.

They said the "whole world is certain that he ordered a awful crime against the journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker told Roll Call Tuesday afternoon that interested parties would be meeting on Wednesday to try to find an agreement on handling the contentious Yemen resolution. "We're with Saudi Arabia".