Pompeo: No Direct Connection Between Saudi Prince, Khashoggi

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell  talks to reporters with Sen. John Barrasso  and Sen. John Thune following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol

The Latest: Pompeo to defend role in Yemen before senators

The US Senate voted 63-37 Wednesday to advance a resolution calling for an end to US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Michael De Dora - the Washington advocacy manager at the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom - read a statement on behalf of the organization in support of the resolution.

After speaking with the White House on Wednesday, Sen.

"Gina Haspel, if all the reports were true, would have said with a high degree of confidence that, in fact, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia was involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a United States permanent resident and a journalist".

The War Powers Act resolution, which is sponsored by Sens.

Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks during testimony by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had addressed the entire upper chamber, in a closed, classified briefing, in the hopes of persuading them to block a debate on Yemen.

"I haven't heard directly from the anyone in the White House with a commitment that we will be briefed by the CIA Director but I think the message was heard clearly and my expectation is that they'll now reconsider their options", Coons said.

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The New York Times says a suspect in the disappearance, identified by Turkey, was in Prince Mohammed's inner circle. "Tells me volumes about what's really going on here".

American intelligence agencies have reportedly come to the conclusion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had a hand in the affair.

"Anything you need me for, to get out of town, I ain't doing it", Graham threatened.

The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the crown prince, at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul six weeks ago, has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West. He accused the Trump administration of "dancing on the head of a pin" to keep from acknowledging that reality.

On Wednesday a source said that the court had accepted the writ, and a prosecutor had asked a judge to determine if either Saudi Arabia or Yemen are investigating the prince for possible crimes against humanity.

"We are the one with leverage, but the administration has given it all away", Riedel added.

Postponing the final vote leaves open the possibility that the resolution could be amended or watered down before it receives a final vote. Corker did not say how he would like to see it modified.

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The Utah Republican said in a Senate floor speech that continuing to support the Saudis, especially in light of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is "bad diplomacy".

Pompeo underscored that some people are using the Khashoggi murder with ulterior motives to undermine Trump's Saudi Arabia policy and support rapprochement with Iran.

Among the outcomes Pompeo predicted are more civilian deaths without USA training for targeting, more safe havens for terrorists and more danger for oil tankers in the Red Sea and Americans landing at the Riyadh airport, which has been a target of missiles fired by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

"Mohammed bin Salman is protected by diplomatic immunity and he is also travelling in his official status as representative of a foreign head of state. That should be a beginning point, not an end point", the Oklahoma Republican said.

As pressure to reduce U.S. military ties with the Saudis has increased, Riyadh has emphasised that it has other options, including with Russian Federation.

Pompeo said it would be "misguided" to pull back what he characterised as limited USA military support and weapons sales to the Saudis on the eve of potentially promising peace negotiations led by the United Nations.

On November 21, Trump vows the U.S. intends to remain Saudi Arabia's "steadfast partner" and thanks Riyadh for helping to keep oil prices low. "They can not continue to do this sort of recklessness". "We're discussing what the appropriate response would be". There has been increased scrutiny of that support in the wake of the killing of Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey. The most recent report on its English-language version about MbS and al-Sisi was from two days ago, a critical report on Egypt's official welcome for the "disgraced Saudi Crown Prince" that doesn't mention anything about Israel.

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