Menendez after CIA's Khashoggi briefing: Trump, Mattis, Pompeo making 'wrong calculation'


There was "zero question" that the young prince was behind the assassination, according to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee. The vote last week set up debate on the measure, which could happen as soon as next week, but senators are still in negotiations on whether to amend it and what it should say.

Graham rejected their assessment outright, saying "you have to be willfully blind" not to conclude that the murder was orchestrated by people under Prince Mohammed's command.

Senators, however, were divided as to what steps to take next, following a stinging vote last week to consider a measure cutting off USA military aid to Saudi Arabia's campaign.

Trump has called the murder "terrible" but noted that the crown prince had denied any knowledge of the killing ahead of time.

After the briefing, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said the U.S. must have strong response to Yemen war and Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

Following the meeting, Mr Graham told reporters: "Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving, but not at all cost".

Graham made clear that business as usual with the Saudis had come to end, and said the United States should come down on the government in Riyahd like "a ton of bricks", adding that he could no longer support arms sales to the Saudis as long as Mohammed was in charge. As the leader of the free world, we have to accomplish two goals: defend human rights while also attempting to maintain important relationships with key allies that we hope will help us bring stability to critical parts of the world.

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"This is yet another instance of Stewart attempting to act as an apologist for Donald Trump, and the result is once against absolutely horrific", Thomas said. "If the Saudi government is going to be in the hands of this man for a long time to come I find it very hard to do business because I think he's insane, I think he is unsafe and he has put the relationship at risk". I have no question whatsoever now: "The crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through". "But a complete fracture with Saudi Arabia, in my view, is not in our best interests".

In a column for the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Graham wrote that the killing and other moves by the Saudi regime showed "astounding arrogance entitlement" and disregard for global norms. "After all, someone's got to do it".

Senator Corker said it would be "difficult" to come up with legislation that could pass the Senate. He said finding a compromise will be hard because some lawmakers don't want to tie Yemen to the Khashoggi killing.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who has already established himself as a Trump critic, was even bolder in his criticism. Graham voted in favor of the resolution.

"They're all in with the crown prince", Menendez said.

"The global community seems to doubt Saudi Arabia's commitment to prosecute this heinous crime".