Pompeo: No Direct Connection Between Saudi Prince, Khashoggi

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland says the sanctions are being imposed against 17 Saudi nationals the federal government believes are "responsible for or complicit in the extrajudicial and extraterritorial killing of [journalist Jamal Khashoggi]".

But then, the Saudi government ordered the murder and dismemberment of a US citizen who wrote for the Washington Post, and had personal relationships with influential people in our nation's capital.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Her absence in the Senate left Pompeo and Mattis to echo the more skeptical interpretation Trump has taken of the CIA's assessment.

The Senate is considering a vote as soon as this week to halt usa involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Echoing Trump's public comments on the killing, Pompeo said after Wednesday's briefing with senators that there was "no direct reporting" connecting the crown prince to the murder, and Mattis said there was "no smoking gun" making the connection.

The Senate voted 63-37 to agree to a motion to discharge the Foreign Relations Committee from considering the measure, which authorizes the chamber to begin mulling the resolution, a debate that is likely to occur next week. He's called for sanctions on the Saudi royal family, and was among those lawmakers critical of a statement from the Trump administration last week affirming the USA relationship with Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi's death.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman must have at least known about the plan to kill Khashoggi last month at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

"The Argentine judiciary has sent a clear message that even powerful officials like Mohammed bin Salman are not above the law and will be scrutinized if implicated in grave worldwide crimes", HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth said in a statement.

Noticeably missing was CIA Director Gina Haspel, whose agency has overseen the Khashoggi investigation.

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who had also previously opposed the Yemen resolution, said it was "time to send Saudi Arabia a message both on its violation of human rights and the incredible humanitarian catastrophe it's creating".

"We are seldom free to work with unblemished partners", Mattis said in prepared remarks released by the Pentagon. Mike Lee made a fervent plea Wednesday for the Senate to vote on ending US involvement in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen that he said has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people.

"There are strike-all amendments that would be too weak for me to support and I imagine the other cosponsors to support", Murphy said. "We can not be deflected from using all our influence to end this war for the good of innocent people in trouble, and ultimately the safety of our own people, and this includes our military engagement".

Yet, MBS could not evade from protests of Tunisian people over the killing of Khashoggi nor worldwide scrutiny that criticize his attendance to G20 summit.

A Saudi-led coalition is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

"So today, eight months later, the bloodshed continues still abetted by the United States, even amidst further revelations of Saudi depravity", Lee said.

When asked after the briefing about the Trump administration's position on the Saudi crown prince's involvement in Khashoggi's killing, Pompeo suggested there was no conclusive evidence.

"I'm talking about any key vote", the South Carolina Republican said.

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