US Aims to Weaken Mohammed bin Salman, Not Depose Him - Scholar

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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.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a "wrecking ball" and that "he's complicit in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi to the highest level".

Senator Bob Corker said: "I have zero question on my mind that the crown prince MBS ordered the killing".

Both Qahtani, one of the advisors to the Saudi Crown Prince, and Asiri, Deputy Director of the Saudi secret services, were dismissed from their positions in October over the scandal caused by Khashoggi's murder.

Senators in the coming week are likely to consider a resolution that would restrict US support for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen, which has contributed to a humanitarian disaster.

Thus, every time the White House tries to put the matter to rest, it only appears to inflame the issue, which is also fueling support for a push to end US involvement in the war in Yemen.

Henzel said the administration condemned the action and it would continue to press for accountability.

Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

'By extraditing all suspects to Turkey, where Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, the Saudi authorities could address those concerns'.

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A group of senators received a classified briefing Tuesday from CIA Director Gina Haspel that they said convinced them that Prince Mohammed played a role in Khashoggi's killing and dismemberment. He said you'd have to be "willfully blind" to ignore the evidence and that there is "zero chance" that MBS is innocent in the matter.

"The U.S. presence in the area is important and while lots of things are happening in a war zone that you wouldn't want to happen worse things would happen if you had no presence there", he said.

"There's not a smoking gun". Blunt did attend a briefing on Khashoggi's death last month led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Graham will no longer support arms sales to Saudi Arabia as long as Mohammed is in power, The Washington Post reported. Graham is quick to defend Pompeo and Mattis, calling them "good soldiers" in his statement, but he throws Trump under the bus.

The resolution also called on Saudi Arabia to end a blockade imposed by itself and three other Arab states on Qatar in June past year and seek a political solution in the worst diplomatic rift to have struck the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The U.S. has slapped sanctions on Saudis involved in the murder. "Guilty. A guilty verdict", Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters after the briefing.

But Graham said he would not support the joint resolution that would cut off military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Since then, the US-backed Saudi-UAE alliance has launched more than 18,000 air raids, part of a war which has killed tens of thousands of civilians.

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