Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on Sunday pushed back on Donald Trump’s assertion that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did not conclude that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“I disagree with the president’s assessment,” Lee told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. “It’s inconsistent with what I’ve seen.”
The Washington Post earlier this month reported that the CIA has concluded bin Salman was “directly involved” in Khashoggi’s assassination. Trump in recent weeks has downplayed that report, penning a bizarre statement last week that declared “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
Lee on Sunday agreed with the CIA’s assessment. “Intelligence I’ve seen suggests this was ordered by the crown prince,” the Republican senator said, later adding he doesn’t “know why [Trump’s] siding with the Saudis.”
EXCLUSIVE: On Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tells Chuck Todd that “the intelligence I’ve seen suggests that this was ordered by the Crown Prince” #MTP@SenMikeLee: “I disagree with the president’s assessment.” pic.twitter.com/9FZkdz1jsx
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) November 25, 2018
Lee isn’t the only leader in Washington who’s calling BS on the president.
“I have been briefed by the CIA,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “And while I cannot discuss the contents of the briefing in any way, I can say that I think the President is being dishonest with the American people.”
“The President is not being honest with the country about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” he added.
Friday, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, likewise accused Trump of lying to the American people about the intelligence community’s assessment.
”They did it, as has been reported to the press, with high confidence, which is the highest level of accuracy that they will vouch for,” Reed told CNN. “It’s based on facts, it’s based on analysis. The notion that they didn’t reach a conclusion is just unsubstantiated. The CIA has made that clear.”
Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.