WASHINGTON (Rahnuma): The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for his dismissal of the CIA’s assessment that the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island responded to remarks by Trump on Thursday that the CIA “did not come to a conclusion” about Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the murder.
Speaking to reporters at his Florida resort, taking a break from the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump said the CIA had “feelings certain ways”.
Reed told CNN the CIA concluded the crown prince was “directly” involved in the assassination of Khashoggi.
“They did it, as has been reported to the press, with high confidence, which is the highest level of accuracy that they will vouch for,” said Reed.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later the Saudi administration admitted he was killed there, blaming a rogue group of Saudi operatives.
“It’s based on facts, it’s based on analysis. The notion that they didn’t reach a conclusion is just unsubstantiated. The CIA has made that clear,” said Reed.
In his Tuesday statement, Trump defended relations with Saudi Arabia despite the killing and said the U.S. may “never know all of the facts” and the country will continue its relations with Saudi Arabia to pursue American interests.
Prominent senators including Republican Bob Corker and Democratic Bob Menendez, lashed out at Trump for his statement, saying they disagree with his decision not to punish Saudi Arabia.