Khashoggi murder: CIA Director Gina Haspel briefs senators on Khashoggi killing today

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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 could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't!"

Haspel delivered a closed-door briefing to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Appropriations committees on the murder of Khashoggi on Tuesday morning. A deep state involves what some believe is an entrenched bureaucracy that runs the government regardless of who is president.

"I think the reason (Mattis and Pompeo) don't draw the conclusion that he's complicit is because the administration doesn't want to go down that road, not because there's not evidence to suggest he's complicit", Graham said.

"Let me just put it this way".

Khashoggi, a former Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, went missing October 2 following what was supposed to be a routine stop at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. If he was in front of a jury he would have a unanimous verdict in 30 minutes.

The Senate is due to vote in the coming days on a measure that would cut off United States military support for Saudi military operations in Yemen.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

Graham also said he would accuse Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis of "being in the pocket" of crown prince if they were Democrats.

Turkish investigators allege Khashoggi was tortured before he was murdered by Saudi officials in the country's consulate in Istanbul.

At the time, a Central Intelligence Agency spokesman denied that Haspel was told to stay away from the briefing.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Republican Senator Rand Paul voiced his frustration that "most rank-and-file senators and congressmen" were not invited to the meeting with Haspel.

The Saudis have charged 11 people but deny that the crown prince was involved.

"I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept appraised of the situation all the way through it", Corker said to the reporters.

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