After a CIA briefing today on the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Politico posted a piece headlined, “Republicans rage at ‘guilty’ Saudi crown prince.”
But one senator who wasn’t in a rage was Colorado’s Cory Gardner, who made this comment last week when asked about the CIA’s reported conclusion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew about the plot to kill Khashoggi:
GARDNER: ““Well, I would be careful of what the CIA is being accused of saying. And I think that was clear in a briefing yesterday.I can’t get into the details of it, but I would just be very careful about what the CIA does and doesn’t believe.”
Republicans who attended today’s CIA briefing clearly disagree with Gardner, as Politico reported today:
A CIA briefing on Tuesday left senators raging at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with Sen. Bob Corker declaring a jury would find him “guilty” of murdering journalist Jamal Kashoggi and Sen. Lindsey Graham asserting the Trump administration must be “willfully blind” not to hold MBS, as he his known, accountable for the killing of Khashoggi.
The unbridled anger toward MBS after a meeting between top Senate leaders and CIA Director Gina Haspel suggests that the chamber will move swiftly to punish the Saudi regime in the coming days. Republican senators in particularly were biting in their assessments of both MBS and the Trump administration, which has declined to assert that the Saudi prince ordered Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey in October.
Corker (R-Tenn.), the Senate Foreign Relations chairman, said that there is “zero question that the crown prince directed the murder.”
It’s not known if Gardner attended the CIA briefing, and his office didn’t issue a comment on the Khashoggi briefing.
It appears that Gardner and Trump are the only prominent Washington politicians who are skeptical of the reported CIA conclusion.
Gardner won’t return calls from the Colorado Times Recorder seeking to know why he doubts the CIA’s conclusion.
Gardner was commenting on other matters today. Shortly after Corker and Graham made their comments, Gardner tweeted:
“I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation w/ @SenDougJones to ensure student veterans receive every penny they’re owed,” tweeted Gardner. “The @DeptVetAffairs made a mistake and didn’t pay student veterans the money they’re entitled to for the semester, it’s unacceptable and must be fixed immediately.”
Another tweet addressed the boy from the northern Colorado town of Severence, who led a campaign to legalize snowball fights, which had been banned.
Gardner: “All it takes is one person with a dream (and some snow) to make something happen. To the people of Severance CO, enjoy your town’s first ~legal~ snowball fight!”