Latest News Politics

CIA’s Haspel to brief senators on Khashoggi death

CIA Director Gina Haspel will reportedly brief Senate leaders on the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after senators criticized her absence from a briefing last week.

Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported the briefing will happen Tuesday.

Senate aides and the CIA did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comment.

Last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed the whole Senate on U.S.-Saudi relations and the Yemen civil war in an effort to head off a resolution that would end U.S. military support for the Saudis in the war.

The briefing, though, backfired for the administration, as senators found the presentation unconvincing and voted 63-37 to advance the resolution.

Lawmakers were also upset at Haspel’s absence, as they wanted to hear the CIA’s assessment on the death of Khashoggi directly from her.

Democratic senators blamed the White House for her absence, while the CIA denied that anyone told her not to attend.

The CIA has reportedly concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, which happened in October at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

But Trump administration officials have publicly pushed back on those reports. After the Senate briefing, Pompeo told reporters that there is no “direct reporting” connecting Crown Prince Mohammed to the killing, while Defense Secretary James Mattis said there is no “smoking gun.”

Haspel’s reported briefing comes ahead of another expected floor showdown on the Yemen resolution.

Senators were initially expected to take up the resolution and vote on amendments this week.

But Senate votes have been delayed until Wednesday after the death of former President George H.W. Bush, leaving little time in the schedule this week.

“I’m thinking this might not happen until Monday,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said. “It gives us a little time to think it through and to make sure we end up with a good policy.”

Corker also said he has had “several meetings” about his planned amendment, but continued to decline to provide details on the substance of the legislation.

“I’ve had several meetings today internally and we’ve met with leadership too just to share with them what they’re thinking,” he said.

 

This article originally appeared on The Hill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *