Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Khashoggi Killing: There’s A Smoking Saw

Marisha Dolly Singh
"There is not a smoking gun - there is a smoking saw," Graham said, referring to Khashoggi's alleged dismemberment in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

After a classified briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel on Saudi journalist Jamal Khahsoggi’s killing, Republican senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has said the evidence against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the CIA amounts to “there's not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw.”

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Graham is referring to the fact that among the 15 member hit squad that came into Istanbul to kill Khashoggi was a forensics doctor who carried with him a bone saw. Turkish investigators have accused the Saudi hit squad of killing and then dismembering Khashoggi’s body in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate.

Graham, after leaving the intelligence briefing by Haspel, said, "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 and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi." The Saudi Crown prince is often referred to by his name’s acronym as simply MBS.

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Senator Graham, a senior member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been one of the crown prince's fiercest critics after multiple news reports pointed that evidence of Khashoggi’s killing reached the palaces in Riyadh. The South Carolina Republican said after the briefing, "The crown prince is a wrecking ball. I think he's complicit in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi to the highest level possible. I think his behavior before the Khashoggi murder was beyond disturbing. And I cannot see him being a reliable partner to the United States," Graham said after the briefing.

"If the Saudi government is going to be in the hands of this man for a long time to come, I find it very difficult to be able to do business because I think he's crazy, I think he is dangerous, and he has put the relationship at risk."

Graham, told reporters on Tuesday that there was "zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince."

Graham vowed to send a bipartisan statement before the end of the 115th Congress asserting that the crown prince was involved in Khashoggi's murder. "I cannot support arms sales to Saudi Arabia as long as he's gonna be in charge of this country," Graham added.

Graham has been a powerful actor in the Congress with him gaining the year of US President.