Senator Kaine presses Department of Defense nominee on potential ties to Khashoggi murder

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WDVM) — Virginia Senator Tim Kaine questioned the Trump administration’s nominee for a top special operations post at the pentagon for reportedly having ties to the killers of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It has been nearly two years after the United States Central Intelligence Agency deemed the disappearance of Virginia resident and Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, as a deliberate murder. Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate on October 2nd, 2018 and never emerged.

In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, Louis Bremer, the president’s nominee for assistant secretary of defense for special operations, was questioned for potential ties to this incident. His position would be a key role in overseeing elite operations across the globe.

Louis Bremer is the managing director of Cerberus Capital Management, a former Navy SEAL, and a member on the Board of Directors of the Tier 1 group, an Arkansas based special operations training company. The CIA believes that the training for some members of the Saudi Rapid Intervention Group who killed Khashoggi in October of 2018 may have been conducted by the Tier 1 group according to both U.S. and Saudi sources.

The co-founder of Cerberus, Stephen Feinberg, is close to the president.

Bremer confirmed in the hearing that Tier 1 is an entity of Cerberus Capital Management and is owned and operated by funds from the financial firm. The group is also licensed by the U.S. Department of State.

During the hearing, Senator Kaine pressed Bremer of his knowledge of any internal investigation as to whether any of the Saudis trained by Tier 1 were involved in the killing and dismembering of Khashoggi. Bremer denied any knowledge of an internal investigation at Tier 1.

Bremer also stated, “I do know that we trained Saudi nationals as a part of our engagements with the kingdom. As an allied nation, we train other nations as well. But I have no knowledge of that.”

Senator Kaine also referenced the Washington Post column piece written by David Ignatius to Bremer during the hearing. Kaine probed Bremer about his knowledge of any allegations that were brought up in the Ignatius piece.

“So until today, you had not been aware that an allegation had been made that a company on which you sit as a director, with a small board of directors, had potentially been involved in training Saudis who were participants in the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi?”

Senator Tim Kaine to Louis Bremer

Despite multiple American and foreign press outlets reporting on this potential link, Mr. Bremer vehemently claimed that he was not aware of such publications or allegations.

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