"Crazy, Wrecking Ball": US Senators Blast Saudi Prince Over Khashoggi

Khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in London Britain Sept. 29 2018. Middle East

Khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in London Britain Sept. 29 2018. Middle East

Speaking to reporters after the NATO Foreign Minister's meeting in Brussels, Mevlut Cavusoglu said a probe into the killing of the Saudi journalist is ongoing. The Saudis have charged 11 people in the case.

Making some of their strongest accusations so far, both Republicans and Democrats said they still want to pass legislation to send a message to Saudi Arabia that the United States condemns the death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist.

Ahmed noted that "when Mohammed bin Salman came, he cleaned house", and the Central Intelligence Agency lost most of its assets inside the palace, making the crown prince "their only source of information".

"You can't chop up a guy in a consulate, particularly who's an American resident who's an opinion journalist for The Washington Post, and expect us to do nothing about it", said Graham.

The Tennessee Republican added: "If he was in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes".

A bipartisan group of senators, led by close Trump ally Republican Lindsey Graham, introduced a measure that would blame Saudi Arabia for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi authorities said the agents who killed Khashoggi exceeded their authority. They did so against the advice of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who said USA involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

United States intelligence community assessments and experts said it's unlikely the killing could have happened without the crown prince's knowledge. Initially, Saudi authorities had said Khashoggi, who had written articles critical of the crown prince's policies, had disappeared, after safely leaving the consulate.

The CIA has concluded Mohammed bin Salman "probably ordered" the killing of Khashoggi. "And at the same time what is protecting USA interests, what is going to counter Shia extremists; what will help bring stability; what will help bring an end to the war in Yemen".

Sen. Bob Corker's comments were an equally scathing rebuke of Trump.

Corker said he's not certain he would support pulling back from Yemen but that "I deserve the right" to back a withdrawal of USA involvement in the war effort.

Senator Chris Murphy, who was not privy to Tuesday's briefing, criticised the Trump administration. Chris Murphy, a Democrat Connecticut who co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to the U.S. role in Yemen.

The US continues to provide Saudi Arabia with weapons and intelligence despite the atrocities in Yemen.

The resolution says that the Senate believes the crown prince, known informally as "MbS", "was in control of the security forces at the time of Jamal Khashoggi's murder" and "based on evidence and analysis made available to this institution, has a high level of confidence" in his complicity in the October 2 murder.

And a Saudi embassy spokesperson tweeted Tuesday: "At no time did HRH (His Royal Highness) the Crown Prince correspond with any Saudi officials in any government entity on harming Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen".

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