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Turkish officials told Reuters that former Mohammed bin Salman aide Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief General Ahmed al-Asiri are suspected of helping to orchestrate the October 2 killing.

It's unclear how strong that message will be.

The report didn't detail how much MIT receives from Saudi sources, but it said 52 percent has covered "sponsored research" over the last three years, primarily from state-owned institutions like Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's national oil company; SABIC, a national chemical company; and the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, a research center.

"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't", Trump said, but noted the strong USA interest in keeping Saudi Arabia as an ally and moving forward with a high-figure weapons deal that was helping American workers.

Last week, the administration sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis to brief the Senate, but Graham and other senators expressed outrage that they were not hearing directly from Haspel, as the CIA's assessment had been liberally leaked to the media. Democrats taking over the House in January have introduced bills similar to the Senate legislation and would be more likely to rebuke Saudi Arabia.

Senator Bob Corker said: "I have zero question on my mind that the crown prince MBS ordered the killing". Regardless, his party members are sick of it, and a showdown between Trump and these senators seems inevitable.

Time will tell whether the rare shot at Mattis' integrity from Capitol Hill will have repercussions when he testifies to defend the president's budget request a few months from now.

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But after a briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, senators accused the Prince Mohammed of being behind the killing. Dianne Feinstein, the resolution says the Senate "has a high level of confidence" that the crown prince "was complicit in the murder". "I can foresee a circumstance where a bunch of amendments might be voted down and at some point, [Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's] got to move to a vote on the underlying resolution", Murphy said.

Saudi Arabia has already detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five. Human rights groups say the war is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing.

Six senior United States senators from across party lines have introduced a resolution holding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) personally accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Lindsey Graham, and by Democratic Sen.

Actor Sean Penn is now in Turkey working on a documentary about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi iat the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a story that's been a highly-debated topic in America for the last two months. Graham added that his opinion on Saudi Arabia had changed and that he would no longer support the war in Yemen or arms sales between the US and the kingdom until the issue was addressed.

The spy agency has evidence he exchanged messages with Saud al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw Khashoggi's murder when he went to the consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage.

The White House is refusing to pin the blame on the crown prince, apparently afraid of damaging relations.

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


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