Central Intelligence Agency director to brief Senate leaders on Khashoggi death

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder

"There's a smoking saw", Graham said. "I think the behaviour before the Khashoggi murder was beyond disturbing and i can not see him being a reliable partner to the U.S.".

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

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

In a statement attempting to clarify his comments later in the day, Stewart said: "We can not brush aside the murder of any journalist, and I have always said that those who are responsible for the murder of Mr. Khashoggi should be held responsible".

"I can't even ask to be included in it because I didn't know it was going to happen, except for reading about it in the media".

He added: "You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of [Mohammed bin Salman] and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi".

The messages appear to reveal the first evidence of MBS's involvement in the operation on the actual day of the killing and of the crown prince sending messages as opposed to being told of events by an aide. "We're with Saudi Arabia".

Mr Menendez has previously called for a strong United States reaction to Mr Khashoggi's death and supports legislation to end all USA support for the Saudi coalition embroiled in the Yemen war.

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.

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder
CIA Director Gina Haspel To Brief Senators On Jamal Khashoggi Killing

The clear and biting assessment put Republican senators at odds with the White House, which has steadfastly refused to cast blame on Saudi Arabia's leadership for the death of Khashoggi, a USA resident and Washington Post columnist. They are also supporting legislation to end US support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, which the Trump administration opposes.

Members of that chamber are scheduled to receive a briefing from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on December 13, according to a House aide.

Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

US intelligence officials reportedly have concluded that the crown prince, known informally as "MBS", must have at least known of the plot.

Graham also said that he would not support the current USA military efforts to support Saudi Arabia in its war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. As the leader of the free world, we have to accomplish two goals: defend human rights while also attempting to maintain important relationships with key allies that we hope will help us bring stability to critical parts of the world. "They think that it's strategic to the administration's views".

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said after the briefing that somebody should be punished.

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

The Senate could take a vote on proceeding to the Yemen resolution next week. "We're staying with Saudi Arabia".

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