James Mattis: No Smoking Gun Implicating Saudi Crown Prince

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The gulf between the White House and US lawmakers regarding Saudi Arabia grew Wednesday after two top members of President Donald Trump's national security team provided a classified briefing to the full Senate. Pompeo and the Defense Secretary James Mattis were due to give a briefing on USA relations with Saudi Arabia yesterday to the entire Senate behind closed doors. Did we vote in the United States Senate to engage in this war?

"The bottom line is the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a unsafe and irresponsible military policy", Sanders said in a Senate floor speech.

And frankly, if we went by this standard, we wouldn't be able to have anybody as an ally. "Try defending that outcome back home". Pompeo did not mention Khashoggi in his prepared remarks to senators.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the killing of Khashoggi when he meets the prince on the summit sidelines, but the "main aim" would be developing Russia-Saudi relations, said Putin's foreign policy advisory Yuri Ushakov.

However, Pompeo and Mattis did not seem to sway leading Senate foreign policy voices, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans, who said they believed taking no action would send a more unsafe message to the world. "There's a long and standing precedent for us taking these actions, and that's why we thought it necessary for us to do so".

"This conflict isn't optional for Saudi Arabia, and abandoning it puts American interests at risk too", Pompeo said.

Mattis contended it is necessary and possible to demand accountability from the Saudi Government, which has told several, shifting versions of Khashoggi's fate at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, "while recognising the reality of Saudi Arabia as a necessary partner". "The bottom line is the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a unsafe and irresponsible military policy".

"It's a major rebuke of the Trump administration and of Secretary Pompeo in particular, who this morning made his case about why the United States support for the Saudi operations in Yemen were so critical", he told Al Jazeera.

As pressure to reduce U.S. military ties with the Saudis has increased, however, Riyadh has emphasised that it has other options, including with Russian Federation. "We should continue to confront Saudi Arabia more and more". He has said he would be willing to meet with Mohammed but now has no meeting scheduled. The move comes as the crown prince arrives in Buenos Aires for the G20 summit.

While speaking with reporters before meeting with the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence on Wednesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said they do not have a "smoking gun" connecting Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has dismissed the CIA's assessment as inconclusive "feelings" - prompting backlash from the Republicans' most senior ranks.

"And we have a president and those closest to him who have their own personal commercial interests", she added. Senate leaders may also pressure lawmakers to hurry through the resolution process, lest it complicate a December 7 deadline to pass a bill to fund the federal government.

Pompeo also made comments that frustrated some of the administration's allies, saying in a blog post before the Senate briefing that Khashoggi's killing "has heightened the Capitol Hill caterwauling and media pile-on". "The notion that anyone told Director Haspel not to attend today's briefing is false", according to the statement from CIA Press Secretary Timothy Barrett.

Senators after the briefing said they were upset the Trump administration did not allow the Central Intelligence Agency director to brief them on the murder of a Saudi journalist and indicated they would continue to raise the issue, including through legislative means.

A man protests the US involvement in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.

Coons called Haspel's absence "very unusual".

"I think it would have teeth", Corker said of the developing plan, which he said he hoped would be on the floor Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Congressional officials said Ms. Haspel would have also faced questions about her visit to Turkey that she would have been barred from sharing with a large group of lawmakers.