Mattis, Pompeo brief House members on Khashoggi murder — live updates

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Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pomeo are holding a closed-door briefing with House members on Capitol Hill about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A small group of Republican and Democratic House members received a briefing Wednesday by CIA Director Gina Haspel on U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen’s bloody civil war, as well as Khashoggi’s murder.

After a similar meeting last week with a handful of lawmakers, senators from both parties said they were confident that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October.  “There’s not a smoking gun — there’s a smoking saw,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters after that briefing. 

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During an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, President Trump again brushed off bipartisan criticism that he’s been too lenient on the crown prince. “He’s the leader of Saudi Arabia. They’ve been a very good ally,” the president said.

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