GOP senators confident Saudi crown prince was responsible for Khashoggi killing after CIA briefing

Mohammed bin Salman.
(Image credit: FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration contends there's no direct evidence connecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But after a briefing from the CIA, key members of the GOP came away with a very different conclusion.

CIA Director Gina Haspel held a closed-door meeting with some members of the Senate Tuesday, and they emerged more confident than ever that bin Salman is responsible for the journalist's murder. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump advocate, said he's "confident" of the crown prince's involvement and said one would have to be "willfully blind" to think otherwise, reports ABC News. There is "zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince," Graham declared, adding that he would really "question someone's judgment" if they couldn't "figure this out."

"There's no smoking gun," said Graham. "There's a smoking saw." After Saudi officials murdered Khashoggi, his body was reportedly cut up with a bone saw, per The New York Times. Defense Secretary James Mattis said last week there was "no smoking gun" implicating bin Salman.

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) agreed with Graham, saying there is "no doubt" that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder and "knew what was happening all the way along," NPR's Tim Mak reports. In fact, Corker suggested the evidence against the crown prince is so strong that if he went in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder "in 30 minutes."

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