Lindsey Graham: ‘Zero Chance’ Khashoggi’s Death ‘Happened in Such an Organized Fashion Without the Crown Prince’

By Melanie Arter | December 4, 2018 | 9:33 PM EST

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (Screenshot)

( - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has no doubt that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Speaking to reporters after a CIA briefing on Tuesday, Graham said there was “zero chance” that Khashoggi’s death “happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince.”

“Open source reports show that he had been focusing on Mr. Khashoggi for a very long time. It is zero chance, zero that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince,” the senator said.

Furthermore, Graham also criticized Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis’ assessment that there was “no direct link” connecting the crown prince to Khashoggi’s murder.


The senator said if the secretaries worked for a Democratic administration he would have accused them of “being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia,” but instead he chooses to believe they’re just “being good soldiers” and using “technical” language in their statement.

“As to Pompeo and Mattis, I have great respect for them. I would imagine if they were in a Democratic administration, I would be all over them for being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia, but since I have such respect for them, I’m going to assume that they’re being good soldiers and that when they look at the analysis, they’re being technical in their statement, but they’re not giving the assessment that I think the Senate will have,” Graham said.

“I would really question somebody’s judgment if they couldn’t figure this out. It is there to be figured out … and I think the reason they don’t draw the conclusion that he’s complicit is because the administration doesn’t want to go down that road not because there’s not evidence to suggest he’s complicit,” he said.

“I’m gonna try to get a sense of the Senate resolution where we all vote and designate MBS as one of the people responsible for the death of Mr. Khashoggi, that he was complicit in the murder, that I not only have high confidence, overwhelming belief that that’s the case. Then what do you do about it?” Graham said.

“I want to make sure that Saudi Arabia’s put on notice that business as usual has come to an end for me. I will not look at the kingdom the same way that I used to look at it. I will not support arm sales until all responsible for the death of Mr. Khashoggi have been brought to justice, and I will no longer support the war in Yemen as constructed,” he added.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters Tuesday that if the crown prince were put on trial in front of a jury, he’d be convicted of murder in half an hour.

“Let me just put it this way, if the crown prince went in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes,” Corker said.

“Of murder?” a reporter asked.

“Yes,” Corker responded.


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