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Kennedy: Saudi Crown Prince Was 'Original El Chapo'

05 December 2018

Reasonable observers and analysts concluded weeks ago that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome killing of Washington Post journalist and USA resident Jamal Khashoggi.

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", Graham said.

"If the Crown Prince went in front of a jury, he'd be convicted in 30 minutes", said Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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.'

Pompeo said after the briefing that there was "no direct reporting" that connected the prince to the killing.

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said, referencing Trump administration comments that there is no "smoking gun" showing bi Salman ordered the killing.

The sharp response from prominent Senate Republicans will increase the pressure on President Trump, who has defended the crown prince and the USA relationship with Saudi Arabia.

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Other senators emerging from a briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel also blame the Saudi de facto ruler for the murder despite Trump's unwavering support for the prince in the wake of his arms deal with Riyadh. Trump said. "That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi". The Senate ultimately passed that measure by a very wide margin, and debate on the resolution itself is expected to begin soon.

Graham called the evidence overwhelming, and said those who deny the crown prince's involvement - including President Trump - are ignoring the evidence.

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

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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". Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said, "All evidence points to that, that all this leads back to the crown prince". He has touted Saudi arms deals worth billions of dollars to the US and recently thanked Saudi Arabia for plunging oil prices. Graham invoked the memory of the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ), saying that if he were alive "I believe he would be standing with me today, leading the charge to come down like a ton of bricks" on bin Salman for the threat he's posed to the U.S. -Saudi relationship and actions which have "destabilized the region".

"They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran", Trump said in the statement.

"And yet we have to have a relationship with these individuals or with these countries". "CIA Director Haspel should brief the full Senate without delay".

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Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, meanwhile, blamed the lack of information on the supposed "Deep State", rather than on the administration.

Kennedy: Saudi Crown Prince Was 'Original El Chapo'