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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday there was no direct evidence connecting Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month in Istanbul.

Lawmakers agreed by a vote of 63-37 to allow debate to proceed on the resolution after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis failed to sway undecided senators to continue the military support for the war coalition. "Long-standing relationships guide but do not blind us", Mattis said. "The Kingdom is a powerful force for stability in an otherwise fraught Middle East".

"We have a problem here".

The attempts by Mattis and Pompeo to portray the Pentagon's strategic support for the Saudi-led massacre in Yemen as a humanitarian venture was belied by a statement issued this week by five of the main aid agencies attempting to stave off mass starvation in the impoverished countries.

Indeed, Codepink has been talking to Sputnik about the war in Yemen since 2016, with over a dozen appearances on Sputnik Radio and interviews with our journalists, during which it was a common lament that Western media and U.S. politicians were not paying attention to the war.

Corker warned that Congress would act if the administration does not. "And that's all I can say in an unclassified setting", he said.

The US Senate has taken a defiant stance against President Donald Trump's White House, advancing a measure that would end American military support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

"It is outrageous that we are willing to turn our eye away from such a murder because we have 'interests, '" Menendez said.

Pompeo criticized those who are using "the Khashoggi murder" for ulterior motives, saying: "Is it any coincidence that the people using the Khashoggi murder as a cudgel against President Trump's Saudi Arabia policy are the same people who supported Barack Obama's rapprochement with Iran - a regime that has killed thousands world-wide, including hundreds of Americans, and brutalizes its own people?"

Those comments further angered members of Congress who have demanded an investigation of potential involvement by the crown prince.

The CIA dismissed allegations about the White House, saying the Trump administration did not tell CIA Director Gina Haspel to not attend the briefing for the US Senate on Yemen.

And Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is often strongly allied with Trump, voted to move forward with the resolution and said he would insist on a briefing from Haspel.

Gulf Arab states have been battling in Yemen since 2015 to restore a government driven out by the Houthis, Shi'ite Muslim fighters that Yemen's neighbours view as agents of Iran.

The Saudi-led war in Yemen has created what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 14 million of Yemen's 28 million people on the brink of starvation. Yemen, he said, is in crisis, with millions of people lacking access to food and clean water and facing rampant disease.

"What obviously happened, as basically certified by the Central Intelligence Agency, is completely abhorrent to everything the United States holds dear and stands for", said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is considered a top ally of Trump, on Tuesday.

"While Canada has imposed sanctions on these 17 Saudi nationals, we continue to call for a transparent and rigorous accounting of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Khashoggi's murder", the media release states.

Pompeo warned lawmakers that ending U.S. backing would lead to a stronger Iran, while reinvigorating both the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

But at least five of the Republican Senators who voted against the bill have received funding from lobbyists working for Saudi Arabia, a fact that illustrates how the Kingdom uses its vast wealth to influence USA foreign policy.

Pompeo said Saudi Arabia is working to "secure Iraq's fragile democracy and keep Baghdad tethered to the West's interests, not Tehran's".