Sen. Murphy: Trump Insists on Holding Saudi Arabia ‘Immune’

The new House Democratic majority, as one of its first actions, must get to the bottom of why President Donald Trump insists on holding Saudi Arabia “immune of any questions of their actions,” Sen. Chris Murphy said Wednesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, while speaking to lawmakers last week, were “very careful in the words they used” while speaking about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

However, many senators on both sides of the aisle, after hearing CIA Director Gina Haspel speak to Senate leaders, said they have little doubt that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the columnist’s death in Turkey.

“They were very careful in the words they used in that hearing,” Murphy said of Pompeo and Mattis. “They didn’t say that Mohammed bin Salman had nothing to do with it. They said there was no smoking gun. But in the meeting, they clearly left the impression that they did not have evidence from the intelligence services that proved that he did it.”

But the unit accused of killing Khashoggi was one that has been at the prince’s direction, pointed out Murphy.

Meanwhile, he said he is angry that only a handful of senators were in the meeting with Haspel, but less angry when Republicans came out and told what happened, ‘which belies the idea that we need classified briefings in the first place.”

He added that he thinks Mattis and Pompeo are “in a bad spot,” and there is a “cover up, ” as “everybody in that briefing last week knew that Pompeo and Mattis were misleading us, knew there was no way this murder happened without the consent and direction of MBS.”

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