Lawmakers in Washington voted on Wednesday to advance a resolution to end US support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen.
The overwhelming bipartisan support to advance the bill came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis briefed the lawmakers without the presence of the CIA director who had been asked to attend.
“I am not going to be denied the ability to be briefed by the CIA – that we have oversight of – about whether or not their assessment supports my belief that [the klling of Jamal Khashoggi] could not have happened without [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] knowing,” Republican Senator Lindsay Graham told reporters.
“And if the briefing reinforces the conclusion that I have already tentatively formed, then there will be no business as usual with Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Regarding his decision to vote for the legislation on Wednesday, Graham said: “I changed my mind because I’m pissed.”
Graham went as far as to say he would not lend his vote to any legislation until he is briefed by the CIA.
When asked after the briefing about the Trump administration’s position on the Saudi crown prince’s involvement in Khashoggi’s killing, Pompeo suggested there was no conclusive evidence.
“There is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the order of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” he told reporters.
Republican Senator Bob Corker joined Lindsay Graham in questioning the administration’s handling of recent events.
“We also have a crown prince who is out of control, a blockade in Qatar, the arrest of a prime minister in Lebanon, the killing of a journalist… and whether there’s a smoking gun,” Corker said, “I don’t think there’s anybody in the room who doesn’t believe he was responsible for it.”