Senior US senators said on Tuesday they were more certain than ever that Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after receiving a CIA briefing on the matter. "You have to be willfully blind not to
come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MbS," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters after the meeting with Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel, referring to the crown prince by his initials.
In his bid to pressure the Trump administration to condemn the crown prince, Graham, who has become one of the president's most vocal allies, said there may not be a "smoking gun," but that there was a "smoking saw," a reference to a bone saw that investigators said was used to cut up Khashoggi's body.
Making some of their strongest accusations so far, both Republicans and Democrats said they still want to pass legislation to send a message to Saudi Arabia that the United States condemns the death of Khashoggi. But they remain sharply divided over how to do so.
Many Democrats want a "straight up or down vote" on a war powers resolution to end all US support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen, without amendments.
But Trump and some of his fellow Republicans have argued that Washington should not take action that would risk its relationship with Riyadh, which is viewed as an important counterweight to Iran in the Middle East.