There is "no doubt" that Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman not only knew about the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, but also condoned it or "worse, was actually involved in directing it," Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday, citing what he knows from being on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"He has absolute control in Saudi Arabia," the Florida Republican told CNN's "New Day."
"There is no way, and I mean no way, that 17 people that close to the crown prince fly into a third country, murder someone in a diplomatic facility, and fly back to Saudi Arabia and he not at least know about it, much less perhaps be involved in it."
Rubio's comments echoed those by other Senate leaders such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who after hearing a briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel earlier this week said their belief the crown prince was involved in the journalist's death had been cemented by the intelligence committee's assessment.
Meanwhile, several people within President Donald Trump's administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, and the president himself, have said they do not think there is anything definitive linking the crown prince to the Khashoggi murder.
Rubio said he thinks "they're carrying out the policy of the administration," and that "smoking gun evidence" isn't needed in this case.
"This is not a criminal trial," he said. "This is not an episode of 'Matlock.' We know more than enough who these people were and what happened to conclude he had to know about it and he was involved in it."