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Menendez after CIA's Khashoggi briefing: Trump, Mattis, Pompeo making 'wrong calculation'

Menendez after CIA's Khashoggi briefing: Trump, Mattis, Pompeo making 'wrong calculation'”

Algeria's president Abdelaziz Bouteflika called off a meeting with visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday because of ill health, the national news agency APS reported.

Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. Turkey says a hit squad from Riyadh killed and dismembered him.

As Corker took questions from the media after his briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel, he was asked what he thought about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis denying the existence of a smoking gun. "There's a smoking saw".

"I am now more convinced than I was before - and I was pretty convinced - that in fact the United States must have a strong response to both the war in Yemen as well as the killing of the United States permanent resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi", Senate Democrat Bob Menendez said.

"You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organised by people under the command of MBS", Republican Senator Linsey Graham told reporters on Tuesday.

"It is zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince", he told reporters Tuesday.

Haspel reportedly did not try to change the lawmakers' mind about the matter, yet the hearing led to a more outspoken stance from the senators.

The Trump administration has argued there is no "smoking gun" tying the prince to the murder, but Corker said Haspel presented the senators with information they hadn't heard before. Senators have moved to punish Saudi Arabia by advancing legislation to curtail US backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. He emerged saying that, "if the crown prince went in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes".

It's unclear whether or how that resolution will move forward. "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". The senator had previously said he would refuse to take a position on the question before hearing Haspel's testimony on the spy agency's findings, which differ from the positions voiced by the Trump administration.

A Senate source said Senate leaders would also participate in the briefing, which is scheduled for 11.30am ET.

"Every senator should hear what I heard this afternoon", Durbin said.

In a column for the Wall Street Journal today, Graham wrote that the killing and other moves by the Saudi regime showed "astounding arrogance entitlement" and disregard for worldwide norms. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said.



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