Sen. Rand Paul issued a rhetorical broadside against the “deep state” this week for freezing him out of a CIA briefing on slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Kentucky lawmaker was excluded from a group on Tuesday that met with CIA Director Gina Haspel. Accusations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing have put the Trump administration in a diplomatic bind.
“This is the very definition of the deep state. The deep state is that the intelligence agencies do things, conclude things, make conclusions, but then the elected officials are prevented from knowing about this,” Mr. Paul told Fox News.
He added that “the deep state” will continue to amass “more power” until the status quo changes, The Washington Examiner reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Tuesday that he has read “every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of United States government.”
“When it is done, when you complete that analysis, there’s no direct evidence linking [the Saudi prince] to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” he said. “That is an accurate statement, an important statement and it is a statement that we are making publicly today.”
Tuesday’s briefing on Khashoggi’s killing was limited to a small group of lawmakers, including those of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, Intelligence Committee, and Foreign Relations Committee.