Menendez Accuses White House Of Cover Up After CIA Director Excluded From Closed-Door Khashoggi Briefing

Menendez Accuses White House Of Cover Up After CIA Director Excluded From Closed-Door Khashoggi Briefing

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Senators are expressing disappointment that officials from the intelligence community were not present at a closed-door briefing over the U.S. response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey accused the Trump administration of attempting to "stonewall" the Senate and called the absence of an intelligence official "outrageous." Menendez, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, accuses the White House of covering up what it knows about Khashoggi's murder.

"The fact that the administration would not send her is very clear to me that they don't want to send her because published reports suggest that the CIA investigation and analysis says that with a high-degree of confidence — which is the highest degree that they ever give in any analysis — that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia was involved. And so not having her today there and having that information characterized by others is just simply not acceptable and it's a telltale sign of what's really going on," Menendez told WCBS 880's Steve Scott.

"It's a danger not just in our relationship with Saudi Arabia, but it is a global message that you can kill with impunity, but if you have some other interests that the United States is interested in, then ultimately you can do so without consequence," Menendez said. "That is a dangerous message to the world, it undermines our nation's history as an advocate for human rights and democracy and the reason we advocate for that it's not just from a principal position but because those countries that observe democracy and human rights are ultimately far better allies. So yes, I do think that they are looking the other way, and I think that has an enormous consequence."

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