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At the G20 Summit in Argentina, Erdogan criticised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for offering an "unbelievable explanation" on Khashoggi's killing that denied any Saudi official role. There's a smoking saw- Sen.

Saudi Arabia maintains the crown prince did not know anything about the murder, which it claims was an accident.

The explosive new declarations by members of President Donald Trump's own party run counter to the White House narrative downplaying possible links between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the October killing of journalist and palace critic Khashoggi at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate. The royal has been accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

CIA Director Gina Haspel is expected to brief Senate leaders Tuesday, the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee said Monday.

Pompeo and Mattis tried to dissuade senators from punishing Saudi Arabia with the resolution, saying USA involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

The Trump administration has so far pledged to remain a steadfast supporter of the Saudi government, including MBS, the country's de facto leader, despite the murder of Khashoggi. They are also supporting legislation to end US support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, which the Trump administration opposes.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who demanded the briefing with Haspel, said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

The senators spoke to reporters as they left a closed-door briefing for some Senate committee leaders and Senate leaders by Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

The Kentucky lawmaker was excluded from a group on Tuesday that met with CIA Director Gina Haspel.

Ms Haspel annoyed Senators last week when she failed to appear before them when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis addressed the issue.

"I'm not going to destroy the world economy and I'm not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia", Trump said at the time.

Haspel's absence from that briefing angered senators.

"Before this briefing, I was convinced that we had to take steps on the war in Yemen and I believe that we had to take steps on the Saudis", Menendez said.

US intelligence officials reportedly have concluded that the crown prince, known informally as "MBS", must have at least known of the plot. The Senate voted last week to debate the US assistance, and additional Senate action is expected in the coming days. Graham voted in favor of the resolution.

Graham saying he'd question Pompeo's and Mattis's motives if this were a Democratic administration is a particularly striking statement - and one from someone who is a frequent Trump ally these days.