Mattis: US doesn't have 'smoking gun' connecting Saudi prince to Khashoggi murder

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Trump, who has stated that he plans to maintain relations with Saudi Arabia, has come under criticism from many in Washington who think the US should downgrade its ties with the Kingdom and end USA support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Seventeen Saudi nationals have been rendered inadmissible to Canada.

Until recently, the USA was providing air refueling for Saudi warplanes, but the American military has continued to provide intelligence to the Saudis in Yemen's civil war, which pits the ousted Yemeni government, backed by the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. A final vote on the resolution is not expected before next week.

"Pulling back our limited USA military support, our weapons sales to our partners, and our protection of the Saudi and Emirati populations would be misguided on the eve of the promising initial negotiations", Mattis said. "I hope we can deal with that issue seriously, but separately".

The prince, who stopped in several Arab countries along the way, arrived in Buenos Aires early on Wednesday and was taken to the Saudi Embassy, which is being guarded by dozens of police officers. In March, the proposal failed 55-44.

I changed my mind because I'm pissed.

It's necessary to demand accountability for Khashoggi's murder "while recognizing the reality of Saudi Arabia as a necessary strategic partner", he said.

And Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is often strongly allied with Trump, voted to move forward with the resolution and said he would insist on a briefing from Haspel.

Either this is a first-class power play by Mohammed bin Salman, or it's a potential reason why Donald Trump wants to avoid a full break with Saudi Arabia.

For his part, Mohammed bin Salman said Riyadh and Tunis have long had good relations and described Essebsi as being "like his father". "Not the intelligence community or anyone else", said Mattis hours later at the Pentagon.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the killing of Khashoggi when he meets the prince on the summit sidelines, but the "main aim" would be developing Russia-Saudi relations, said Putin's foreign policy advisory Yuri Ushakov.

Advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) had petitioned Argentinian authorities to prosecute the Saudi prince for a slew of crimes, including civilian deaths during the Saudi-backed war in Yemen and the torture of Saudi citizens. Without that last form of support, much of the Saudi campaign would be impossible.

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More than three-quarters of the population - some 22 million people - need humanitarian assistance, while 11 million require dire help in order to survive.

"About the briefing: I'm glad we had it, I admire both secretaries, but it was inadequate because the Central Intelligence Agency was not there", Graham told reporters afterward.

"All of that was caused by the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen three years ago, led by a despotic, dishonest dictatorship".

Corker warned that Congress would act if the administration does not.

Many were angry that CIA Director Gina Haspel did not participate in the briefing, as they had requested.

"Abandoning Yemen would do vast damage to US national security interests and those of our Middle Eastern allies and partners", Pompeo said in remarks prepared for the closed-door briefing.

Still, the Senate's decision was a major rebuke to the Trump administration. "By ending our participation in this brutal war, we will send an unambiguous message that we won't accept continued bloodshed".

The following day, the Post reports that the veteran journalist is missing.

"The Saudis, lobbyists, the Secretary of Defense, none of them have been able to stop this anger which is brewing".

Pompeo argued that the war in Yemen would be "a hell of a lot worse" if the United States were not involved.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 23 says Khashoggi's "savage" murder was pre-planned and carried out by a 15-person team that came from Riyadh.

Anger over Khashoggi has peaked on Capitol Hill if not on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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