Uncertain

White House Blocked CIA Director from Briefing Senate on Khashoggi

Claim

The White House blocked CIA Director Gina Haspel from briefing the Senate on Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

Rating

Uncertain

Summary

Senators at a closed door briefing claimed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed the White House had blocked Haspel from attending, but this is disputed by the CIA and White House officials.

Claimed By

The Guardian

Breakdown

  • A closed door Senate briefing on U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia did not include CIA Director Gina Haspel, despite requests for her to attend by Senator Bob Corker and others.

  • The Guardian reported that officials said the decision for Haspel to not attend had come from the White House.

  • National Security Advisor John Bolton denied this, as did the White House.

  • Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin told reporters that at the hearing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed that the White House had blocked Haspel from attending.

  • The Daily Beast reported that other senators corroborated Durbin’s statement.

  • CIA spokesman Timothy Barrett also later denied that anyone had barred Haspel from attending.

“While Director Haspel did not attend today’s Yemen policy briefing, the Agency has already briefed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Congressional leadership on the totality of the compartmented, classified intelligence and will continue to provide updates on this important matter to policymakers and Congress. The notion that anyone told Director Haspel not to attend today’s briefing is false.”

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