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Security adviser, John Bolton, said told The Guardian that the executive order “certainly did not” come from the White House.
CIA Director Gina Haspel will not be attending the U.S. Senate briefing on the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the U.S., Saudi Arabian relations, the White House said Tuesday.
Members of the Senate have contested the exclusion of the senior intelligence officer, who customarily would have participated in the briefing, particularly considering Haspel’s recent trip to Istanbul to listen to audio recordings of Khashoggi’s final moments.
State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis will be orchestrating the closed-door meeting, which will precede a vote to withdraw military aid to Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
“That is extraordinary when we are dealing with the Khashoggi situation, the assertion by the State Department and intelligence agencies, her absence is obvious and it's noted, and it raises a serious question as to whether this administration is giving us the whole truth,” he said.
An unnamed government aide told CNN, “If they were confident in their story they would send her to the US Senate and have her brief US senators. But the fact that they are hiding her and not allowing her to tell the Senate what she knows ... it really tells you all you need to know.”
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump voiced his doubts of the CIA assessment, calling it “very premature,” weeks later publicly revealing his plans to maintain international relations with Saudi Arabia despite the brutal torture and murder of a U.S. journalist within the walls of a Saudi Consulate in October.