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: 'No mistake' Trump warned Russian diplomat about election tampering Trump admin hits Iranian shipping network, airline with new sanctions The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - An unusual day: Impeachment plus a trade deal MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisThreatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court 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 CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 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.