Paul Decries Intelligence Agencies 'Withholding Information' On Khashoggi Killing

Dec 4, 2018

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is objecting to a briefing by CIA director Gina Haspel to a select group of senators. Tuesday, the lawmaker asked why the intelligence head isn’t taking questions from the full Senate on the agency’s investigation into the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives for a closed door meeting about Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Credit AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Speaking with reporters, Paul said the limited nature of the briefing itself raises concerns.

"I think the very definition of the deep state is when the intelligence communities withhold information from Congress," he said, in video posted to his Twitter account. "Today there is a CIA briefing going on right now for which most rank-and-file senators and congressman have been excluded." 

The Bowling Green Republican went on to outline questions he wants answered by the CIA director, among them: Did Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s brother reassure Khashoggi it was safe to visit the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul? Were there text messages sent from the killers back to the crown prince’s office? Did the crown prince have phone conversations with the killers?

"Some are saying there is no smoking gun. Well, what's being reported is that there is a smoking gun," Paul elaborated. "There is communication directly from the killers back to the crown prince's office. I think the time has come for the Senate to grab back foreign policy." 

In a tweet the senator added, “Saudi Arabia continues to spread radicalism and we shouldn’t continue to blindly support them.”