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Senators who attended a classified briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel on Tuesday said there was “no question” in their minds that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, despite President Donald Trump’s equivocations on the U.S. intelligence assessment.

The senators’ verdict puts Congress on a collision course with the Trump administration over its continued alignment with Saudi Arabia. In an effort led by the president, the White House has cast doubt on the idea that the crown prince was involved in the October murder of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and has urged lawmakers to shy away from efforts to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s bloody civil war.

“Let me just put it this way. I think if he was in front of a jury, he would have a unanimous verdict in about 30 minutes. Guilty. A guilty verdict,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referring to the crown prince. “He murdered him. No question in my mind. I had almost no question before. I have no question whatsoever now… that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through.”

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Author: By andrew.desiderio@thedailybeast.com (Andrew Desiderio)