Senate defies Trump, showing anger with Saudis for Khashoggi

Gen. James Mattis the head of U.S. Central Command takes questions after delivering a lecture to the London think tank Policy Exchange in London Tuesday Feb. 1 2011

In remarks prepared for Wednesday, Pompeo says, "The first mission is to assist the Saudis and the Emiratis in their fight against Iranian-backed Houthi fighters".

Wednesday's procedural vote sets up a floor debate on the resolution next week.

The procedural vote received more Republican support than had been expected after the resolution, sponsored by Republican Sen. By a bipartisan 63-37 vote, the Senate opted to move forward with legislation calling for an end to US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says "some kind of response" is needed from the United States for the Saudis' role in the gruesome death. Last time Congress took that bill was in March and it fell short by six votes then.

Anger was abundant on Capitol Hill because neither CIA Director Gina Haspel nor any representative from the CIA was present to brief the members.

Warren's letters to the remaining five firms seek confirmation of reports that those companies have severed ties with the desert kingdom following Khashoggi's murder.

Pompeo spoke to reporters after he and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the Senate behind closed doors that weakening US-Saudi ties over the killing would hurt national security.

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He then went on the offensive, asking if "is it any coincidence that the people using the Khashoggi murder as a cudgel against President Trump's Saudi Arabia policy are the same people who supported Barack Obama's rapprochement with Iran - a regime that has killed thousands worldwide, including hundreds of Americans, and brutalises its own people?"

All of the letters cite recent reports that Washington lobbyists have "raked in $76.9 million", over the past decade to advocate for the Saudis "on everything from nuclear power to fending off legislation that would leave the kingdom liable in lawsuits filed by family members of victims in the September 11 terrorist attacks".

In Yemen, he added that Iran's backed Houthis "have occupied Saudi territory, seized a major port, and, with Iranian help, improved their ballistic-missile targeting so that they can shoot at Riyadh's global airport..."

That general has since been named by The New York Times as, who was promoted to Saudi intelligence previous year.

"We are at a very crucial moment".

"I changed my mind because I'm pissed", Graham said.

"I held consultations with Martin Griffiths this morning". It will be one of the subjects we will talk about among Europeans. Saudi Arabia is crucial for that process. UNICEF has declared it the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

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