WASHINGTON — Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump administration officials will hold a closed-door briefing for some members of the House next week on the murder of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi and U.S. assistance to the Saudi-led military offensive in Yemen.
Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she hopes CIA Director Gina Haspel will take part in the intelligence briefing. On Tuesday, after facing a flurry of bipartisan criticism for not appearing at a briefing on Saudi Arabia with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, Haspel briefed a small group of senators on Khashoggi's killing and the war in Yemen.
Senators from both parties emerged from the Haspel briefing Tuesday even more confident that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly involved in the brutal assassination.
"There's not a smoking gun — there's a smoking saw," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters after the classified meeting.
Pelosi also vowed to oppose any legislative compromise on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that includes funding for a wall on the southern border — one of President Trump's signature campaign promises.
"They're two different subjects," she said Thursday. While Mr. Trump acted to end DACA, it's currently being kept alive by a prolonged court battle.
The Californian congresswoman, who is vying to reclaim the speaker's gavel in January,to pass the Dream Act with a Democratic House majority next session, providing the approximately 800,000 DACA recipients with a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are scheduled to meet with the president on Tuesday, and the three leaders are expected to negotiate on avoiding a government shutdown. That discussion is likely to focus on funding for the president's border wall. Mr. Trump is insisting on $5 billion for a border wall, while Schumer has said Democrats would agree to $1.5 billion for border security.
On Thursday, Congress passed ato keep the government running through Dec. 21. The measure now goes to President Trump to be signed.
There are seven appropriations bills that have not yet been completed, including one for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the agency charged with border security and which would contain funding for the border wall.
Pelosi called the wall "ineffective" and "expensive" and said any border security funds in appropriations legislation should not be used for the erection of a wall.
"it's immoral still and we're not going to pay for it," she said.
Rebecca Kaplan and Bo Erickson contributed reporting