Durbin says testimony on Khashoggi killing ‘not persuasive’ without Central Intelligence Agency director

The Latest: Pompeo to defend role in Yemen before senators

Canada on Thursday imposed sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals linked to the "abhorrent and extrajudicial" murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Senate vote on the resolution, which could come later Wednesday, is not likely to be binding on President Donald Trump but would amount to a rebuke of his policies.

On the eve of his testimony, Pompeo wrote a fascistic op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal condemning criticism of the wholesale crimes against humanity committed by the Saudi regime, and the murder of Khashoggi in particular, as "Capitol Hill caterwauling and media pile on", while accusing politicians of both political parties in the "salons of Washington" of undermining U.S. national security and being "soft" on Iran.

"There is no smoking gun", Mattis told Pentagon reporters, stressing he still believes those responsible should be punished.

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 US Senate has advanced a measure that would end American military support for the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen.

Oil is among the subjects Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who USA intelligence has concluded likely ordered Khashoggi's killing, is expected to discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina later this week, the Kremlin said today in confirming that Mohammed and Putin will hold a bilateral meeting there. USA intelligence officials have concluded that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, must have at least known of the plot, but Trump has equivocated over who was to blame.

"Anything you need me for, to get out of town, I ain't doing it", Graham threatened.

The recording is seen by intelligence officials as some of the strongest evidence linking Prince Mohammed to the killing.

"There are certainly members who are weighing the absence of the Central Intelligence Agency director in how they will vote", he said.

On Wednesday, Senators delivered a historic blow to the country's relationship with ally Saudi Arabia, a country whose leadership has committed notable human rights violations, by voting to move forward a resolution that would end all US military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

One recent estimate suggests that 85,000 children under 5 years old have already died from malnutrition as a result of Riyadh's intervention in Yemen's civil war. "People who speak Arabic have listened to the tape, and they've given us the substance of what's in it". The CIA doesn't say they did it. "I think 80 percent of the people left the hearing this morning not feeling like an appropriate response has been forthcoming", Corker said. "But I also recognize that we can not limit civilian casualties or advance the peace effort commencing early next month in Sweden by disengaging" with the Saudis, he said in his prepared remarks.

"The CIA looked at it", Trump tells journalists at the White House.

The list does not include the Saudi Crown Prince, who is accused of having links to the murder and who is also attending the G20 Summit.

At the same time, Ottawa continued to call for "a transparent and rigorous accounting of the circumstances" surrounding Khashoggi's murder, saying that "the explanations offered to date by Saudi Arabia lack consistency and credibility".

Argentine law makes it unusually easy to bring global human rights cases, even if they're unrelated to Argentina, where a military regime killed or disappeared some 30,000 people between 1976 and 1983.



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