James Mattis: No Smoking Gun Implicating Saudi Crown Prince

by Garry Watts November 30, 2018, 2:00
James Mattis: No Smoking Gun Implicating Saudi Crown Prince

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".

The Senate vote on the resolution, which could come later Wednesday, is not likely to be binding on President Donald Trump but would amount to a rebuke of his policies.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) was particularly disturbed by Haspel's absence, and he's vowing that he won't vote on any significant legislation until Haspel comes before the Senate, according to Hot Air.

Bin Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia's defense minister, is known as the architect of the Yemen war. "Thank you to the 63 senators, who today took a step towards saying 'enough is enough, '" Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) said in a statement.

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, Saudi Arabia admitted weeks later that he was killed there.

When asked if he had told Trump as much, Graham said, "I just did".

Pompeo told reporters after the briefing that there was "no direct" evidence linking the crown prince to the murder, but senators remained unconvinced and frustrated. "But I may now be willing to get on the [legislative] vehicle, knowing it can be amended, to figure out some way for us to send the appropriate message to Saudi Arabia that appropriately displays American values and American national interest". He denied that the White House had barred Haspel from attending Wednesday's briefing.

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

"The most persuasive presence at this briefing was an empty chair - a chair that should have been occupied by Gina Haspel, head of the Central Intelligence Agency", said Sen.

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"We have already seen 85,000 children starved to death, the United Nations tells us that millions of people are facing starvation, 10,000 new cholera cases are developing each week because there is no clean drinking water in the country", Sanders said following the briefing.

"The war has dragged on for far too long and involves some of the world's biggest superpowers who are continually allowed to fund the warring parties", he says.

Blunt, one of the two Senators from Missouri, received at least $19,200 in campaign contributions from firms representing Saudi Arabia in 2017, the CIP said, with Boozman, Burr, Crapo and Scott, representing Arkansas, North Carolina, Idaho and SC respectively, receiving contributions ranging from $1,000-$2,500 between 2016 and 2017.

Mattis and Pompeo worry a move to cut United States support to the Saudis ahead of the summit is poorly timed and could embolden Huthis not to negotiate.

Worldwide, pressure has grown to punish Saudi Arabia for its role in the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and USA resident who was tortured and killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Under the title "No to polluting revolutionary Tunisia", Tunisian journalists and 12 civil society organisations held a press conference on Monday at the headquarters of the syndicate, condemning their government for hosting the Saudi leader, who they held responsible for Khashoggi's death. "We are ending our participation in that horrific war".

Senators are set to question top Trump administration officials at a closed-door briefing about the US response to Saudi Arabia over the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

Nihad Awad, the national executive director and founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was a close friend of Khashoggi.

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.

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