November 28, 2018 / 8:17 PM / 14 days ago

CIA says White House did not block its director from briefing Senate

FILE PHOTO: New CIA Director Gina Haspel speaks after being sworn in during ceremonies at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, U.S. May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House did not block CIA Director Gina Haspel from participating in a briefing on Wednesday for the U.S. Senate about the war in Yemen and U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, a spokesman for the agency said.

“The notion that anyone told Director Haspel not to attend today’s briefing is false,” agency spokesman Timothy Barrett said in a statement.

Some senators who are interested in the spy agency’s assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi had complained that Haspel was absent from the briefing.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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