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WATCH: Lindsey Graham Responds to Khashoggi Briefing ‘You Have to Be Willfully Blind Not to Come to the Conclusion That This Was Orchestrated…Under the Command of MbS’

Oof.
lindsey graham, bob corker, mohammed bin salman, jamal khashoggi, donald trump

After being briefed by the CIA on the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, senators of both parties came out swinging in their condemnation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

CIA Director Gina Haspel shared her findings with the US Senate Tuesday afternoon.

“You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MbS,” Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said at a press conference. “There is zero chance that this happened in such fashion without the crown prince.”

Bob Corker (R-TX) followed suit, telling reporters he has “zero question” that the crown prince “ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening and planned it in advance.”

Bin Salman would be “convicted in 30 minutes” if he were in front of a jury, said Corker.

Watch below:

Graham said although there is no “smoking gun,” there is a “smoking saw,” referring to the tool used to mutilate Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in October.

Bin Salman is a “wrecking ball,” Graham adding that the crown prince was “complicit in the murder” of Khashoggi to the “highest level possible.”

“Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving,” Graham told ABC, “but not at all costs.”

Watch below:

Democrats on the Hill urged action.

“The views that I had before have only solidified,” said Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He joined his party in demanding an “up or down vote” on a resolution that would end US military aid to Saudi Arabia in Yemen, which has been torn apart by civil war.

Following the meeting with Haspel, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) emerged unwilling to risk souring US-Saudi relations, despite the evidence presented to him.

“Somebody should be punished,” he said. “Now the question is how do you separate the Saudi crown prince and his group from the nation itself?”

President Donald Trump has been reluctant to accept Saudi Arabia’s culpability in Khashoggi’s death, emphasizing the importance of the economic relationship — including a non-existent $450 billion arms deal — between the Saudi monarchy and the United States.

Trump sanctioned 17 Saudi nationals connected with the crime but has not levied any consequences on the crown prince himself.

Twitter wants to know when Republicans are going to hold Trump accountable for his part in the coverup.

Last week, meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denied bin Salman’s involvement in the murder of Khashoggi, a permanent resident of the United States.

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  • Brandon Gage

    Political Writer

    Brandon began his writing career in a hospital bed in July, 2017. His mission is to provide insight ... keep reading

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