Pompeo-Mattis briefing on Yemen to Senate bombs
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Nov 30, 2018,
Nov 30, 2018, 1:57
After weeks of denying any involvement in the crime, Saudi Arabia later admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate but denied that the royal family and crown prince had any prior knowledge.
Earlier Wednesday, both Pompeo and Mattis framed U.S. support for Saudi Arabia as a national security matter, even though Riyadh's conduct in Yemen's civil war has drawn global condemnation.
The procedural vote received more Republican support than had been expected after a similar resolution fell six votes short of passage earlier this year. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., urged 19 senators to switch their votes.
"If that doesn't constitute hostilities, I don't know what does", he said, becoming animated during his floor speech. "There is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi". "Anything that you need me for to get out of town - I ain't doing it until we hear from the Central Intelligence Agency".
It's always been kind of a pragmatic relationship regardless of who's been in the White House.
In a 63-37 vote on Wednesday, the Senate advanced debate on a bill that would revoke USA support for the Saudi intervention.
"Canada continues to call for a credible and independent investigation", the statement said, so those responsible can face justice.
Haspel traveled to Turkey as part of the information-gathering process and is said to have heard an audio recording that depicts Khashoggi's death.
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The report said the interest rate for the loan has not yet been decided.
Speaking to reporters after the briefing, Mattis said he has personally read all the intelligence reports and transcripts related to the killing, which took place October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Even if it is ultimately passed, it can not compel an end to the USA intelligence, logistical and diplomatic support for the Saudi campaign.
Their briefing on Capitol Hill was not well-received by Republicans and Democrats, who expressed frustration that CIA director Gina Haspel was not present to share the agency's assessment or any intelligence. Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. - invokes the 1973 War Powers Act, and instructs the president to remove us forces from "hostilities" in the fight against the Houthis, an Iranian-backed rebel group in northern Yemen.
"I don't think there's anybody in the room that doesn't believe he was responsible for it", Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters after the briefing.
James Harnett, a junior and an ANC commissioner, said he advocated for the change to support students pursuing journalism careers who may now feel threatened by the Saudi government's actions.
Pressure has been mounting for the U.S. to end its support for the conflict. The fallout of the Khashoggi slaying, and the potential it could have on the mega-jobs contract, has sparked plenty of debate locally.
In the face of that, Congress is set to vote on a war powers resolution this week, which would withdraw US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and is considering sanctions or other penalties for the kingdom.
Mattis and Pompeo worry a move to cut USA support to the Saudis ahead of the summit is poorly timed and could embolden Huthis not to negotiate.
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.