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Rand Paul Upset with 'Deep State,' Accuses Them of Keeping Him Away from CIA Briefing
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4 Dec 2018 06:49 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Rand Paul (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

There are many people who are looking for answers regarding Jamal Khashoggi's murder and wondering why Saudi Arabia, specifically Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is not being held accountable. Understandably, to not be invited to a briefing on the matter, if you're a lawmaker, doesn't seem right. 

That's how Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was left feeling on Tuesday after he and other senators were excluded from CIA Director Gina Haspel's briefing on the matter. Only a limited number of lawmakers were invited, such as the leaders of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, and Intelligence Committee.

 

Haspel was slammed after not attending an administration briefing for senators that was held last week regarding The Washington Post journalist's disappearance and death.  

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up needed paperwork to get married. He never exited. Turkish officials claimed since the beginning that he was tortured and murdered and that they have audio evidence, blaming high-level officials from Saudi Arabia.

 

The kingdom denied anything to do with the disappearance and later murder, and later they admitted some officials were involved, giving a few more details with each retelling. But they stop short of saying the crown prince was involved, even though many, including the CIA, believe he was. 

Haspel was sent to the consulate in Istanbul to investigate. She heard the audio evidence that Turkey is holding onto. They claim Khashoggi can be heard being killed and fighting with his captors.

 

Along with giving a briefing, Haspel was also sent to Capitol Hill to hopefully put the Senate at ease. Some are trying to force a vote on whether to pull U.S. support in Yemen for Saudi-backed forces. 

Paul believes excluding the majority of senators from her briefing was undemocratic and that she should have testified before all senators.

 

"There are eight people in Congress who get briefings on intelligence," he explained. "That is not democracy. That is not democratic representation, nor is it democratic oversight." 

Additionally, Paul only heard about Haspel's meeting because of media reports.

 

"I think the very definition of the deep state is when the intelligence communities withhold information from Congress," he complained. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was one of the lucky senators to attend the briefing. He declared that the crown prince "is a wrecking ball. I think he is complicit in the murder of Khashoggi in the highest possible level."

 

"I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening," said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). 

"If he was in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes. Guilty. So the question is, 'What do we do about that?' "

 

"There's not a smoking gun; there's a smoking saw," added Graham. This could confirm the reports that the journalist was dismembered by a bone saw. "It is zero chance — zero — that this happened without the crown prince." 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believes what he heard "reinforced the need for a strong response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi." He also added that Haspel "should brief the full Senate without delay."

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said before the briefing that "no response is certainly not appropriate. Looking away is not appropriate. But a complete fracture with Saudi Arabia, in my view, is not in our best interests." 

His comments coincide with Donald Trump's view who has steered clear of putting any blame on Saudi Arabia or the prince since the very beginning, stating he wanted to protect the large arms deal the country has with the kingdom.

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