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Prince Mohammed, who has been making his first foreign tour since the October 2 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, held talks instead with Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, Algeria's presidency said.

New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez said he was "more convinced" than he was before that the USA needed to reconsider its close ties to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Central Intelligence Agency briefing, while South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham told reporters that "it's not a smoking gun, it's a smoking saw", in reference to Khashoggi's alleged dismemberment using such a tool.

Graham called the evidence overwhelming, and said those who deny the crown prince's involvement - including President Trump - are ignoring the evidence. There's a smoking saw- Sen.

The CIA claimed Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the assassination of journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.

But President Donald 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.

The White House faced a rebuke last week when the Senate voted to advance legislation that would end United States support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting a war in Yemen, which has been described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

There remained no question among most senators on Tuesday after the closed-door briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel that Mohammed was directly connected to the killing. Sen.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

The CIA director met with a small group of senators, including the chairmen and ranking senators on the key national security committees.

Bin Salman has denied any knowledge of the plot to torture, murder and dismember Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey in October and the USA has waffled on whether it believes his denials.

"We know he ordered it".

While Senate passage of a resolution would send a strong message to Saudi Arabia, it's unlikely it would become law before the end of the year.

"I went into the briefing believing it was virtually impossible for an operation like this to be carried out without the Crown Prince's knowledge", Graham added.

Though Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke with senators ahead of the vote, which ultimately passed Wednesday, many lawmakers were upset that Haspel made no appearance.

The Senate is reportedly due to vote in the coming days on a measure that would cut off U.S. military support for Saudi military operations in Yemen. Asked by a reporter if it would be a murder conviction, Corker replied "yes".

Graham saying he'd question Pompeo's and Mattis's motives if this were a Democratic administration is a particularly striking statement - and one from someone who is a frequent Trump ally these days.

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