‘Smoking saw’: After CIA briefing, Senators confident MBS behind Khashoggi killing

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 6, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The Tennessee Republican said that with the schedule changes necessitated by the funeral of President George H.W. Bush, floor debate would most likely come up on Monday, Dec. 10.

Khalid did not attend the funeral, however, despite earlier saying he meant to go, NBC reported.

"There's a smoking saw", Graham said, referring to reports from the Turkish government that said Saudi agents used a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi after he was killed in the Istanbul consulate, where he had gone to obtain paperwork enabling him to marry his fiancee.

However, a United States official told NBC that Khalid is not expected to be expelled from the country and would continue on as ambassador. "His status as such remains unchanged", the official said.

However, Ahmed also doesn't think the goal of the U.S. government is to remove and replace the crown prince, either, but rather to "maintain Mohammad bin Salman as a weakened leader", noting it's "more advantageous for United States interests, in their view, because having a weaker leader allows the USA to project its power and influence at a greater level than if he was strong and... a legitimate person in his government". "We have to figure out a way to condemn the butchery and the murder in the strongest possible terms without blowing up the Middle East", Kennedy said.

Khashoggi's Washington Post editor, Karen Attiah, said that he should be expelled from the USA outright.

The CIA's assessment is reportedly based on intercepted communications and a recording from within the Saudi consulate in Turkey where the murder occurred.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has pushed to keep worldwide attention on the murder - the order for which he says came from the highest levels of the Saudi government - even as U.S. President Donald Trump has said Washington should not take action that would undermine its relationship with the kingdom.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Post reported that Khalid told Khashoggi "that he should go to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so".

Two weeks ago Trump said, "I don't know".

"His Royal Highness the Ambassador is in Washington" embassy spokeswoman Fatimah Baeshen told AFP.

The Saudis have charged 11 people but deny the crown prince was involved. "I've never heard, ever, a presentation like was made today". "I ask the U.S. government to release any information regarding this claim".

The CIA, meanwhile, is facing growing pressure to brief the full Senate, since Tuesday's briefing comprised only roughly a dozen senators from the party leadership and who sit on key committees. The remaining five senators include Republicans Marco Rubio and Todd Young, as well as Democrats Dianne Feinstein, Ed Markey, and Chris Coons. Lindsey Graham (SC) disagreed.

The proposal, brought by six senators from both political parties on Wednesday, declares with a "a high level of confidence" that Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, also known as MbS, "was complicit" in the murder of Khashoggi.

US Senator Bob Corker, the current head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, also said he is certain that MBS ordered Khashoggi's murder.

"I have zero question in my mind that the Crown Prince MBS ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening".

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