Haspel not confirmed for Senate’s Saudi briefing 

Haspel not confirmed for Senate’s Saudi briefing 
© Greg Nash

CIA Director Gina Haspel, viewed as a key authority on her agency’s report on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is not yet confirmed for a Wednesday briefing to senators on Saudi Arabia.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo presses for resolution to Gulf dispute The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight State Department blocks reporters from Pompeo briefing with faith-based media: report MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisPentagon watchdog probing whether acting chief boosted Boeing Overnight Defense: Judge says Trump can't implement transgender policy | Trump floats admitting Brazil to NATO | Mattis returning to Stanford Mattis returning to Stanford months after Pentagon resignation MORE are scheduled to attend the briefing, according to Senate sources familiar with the confirmed list of attendees. 

The briefing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday. 


The principle subject of the meeting is the civil war in Yemen, where the United States has helped a Saudi coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels. But the topic of Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul is sure to come up.

Khashoggi wrote for The Washington Post and resided in Virginia. Media outlets have reported that the CIA concluded in a recent finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder. 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump keeps tight grip on GOP Brexit and exit: A transatlantic comparison Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Tenn.) has pressed for Haspel, who would be a key authority on Khashoggi’s death, to also attend the briefing. 

Haspel listened to audio of Khashoggi's killing, according to a report in The Washington Post. Haspel did so during a trip to Istanbul. The recording is believed to have been taken by the Turkish government, which has been critical of Khashoggi's killing.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE disputed reports of the crown prince’s involvement last week.

“No, no, they didn’t conclude. I’m sorry. No they didn’t conclude. They did not come to a conclusion. They have feelings certain ways. I have the report,” he told reporters at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. 

Senators want Haspel to attend the briefing to speak about the CIA’s views on the crown prince’s involvement in Khashoggi’s death.