CIA director Gina Haspel now occupies the warmest chairs in Washington.
With President Trump’s statement Tuesday that “we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi,” the agency’s findings in the case of murdered Saudi journalist have been trashed.
Congress wants to hear from Haspel, finding her more a credible source than the error-prone president.
On Monday Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, called on Haspel and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats to “come out and provide the American people and the Congress with a public assessment of who ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”
Wyden’s call for transparency about the apparent assassination of the Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi regime, puts Haspel on the spot.
Haspel briefed President Trump on the CIA’s conclusion that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, according to the Post.
Trump doesn’t want to hear it. He doesn’t want to hear the audio tape of Khashoggi’s final minutes. He doesn’t want to hear that MbS might not be telling the truth when he told Trump he had nothing to do with the murder.
Trump wants to hear what the State Department said on behalf of Secretary Pompeo: that the government is “still working” to determine who was responsible.
The president does NOT want to hear what Haspel said–that the CIA has “high confidence” that MbS ordered the killing of Khashoggi. Congress does want to hear what Haspel said–and why.
The fact that Haspel is a woman, and Trump has a low tolerance for never women who dispute his certainties, means the CIA director sits in the hottest seat in Washington.
Haspel’s likely escape plan: offer to testify behind close doors to the House and Senate intelligence committees