Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s assassination — Central Intelligence Agency

Arturo Kim
November 18, 2018

Trump noted to "Fox News Sunday" that the crown prince has repeatedly denied being involved in the killing inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi investigators said Khashoggi was killed only after consulate officials tried to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia on his own volition.

It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother's direction, according to the people familiar with the call, which was intercepted by US intelligence. He said Saturday "the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity". Asked about reports that the Central Intelligence Agency had assessed involvement by Mohammed, the president said: "They haven't assessed anything yet". "I think it lessens the options that President Trump has to try to curry favor with the crown prince" as well as "encourages Congress to insist on more robust sanctions than we've seen at this point".

"And I also take that - you know, I'm president - I have to take a lot of things into consideration".

The CIA declined to comment to NPR.

Over the past several weeks, the Saudis have offered multiple, contradictory explanations for what happened at the consulate.

Mr Trump aligned himself with the Saudis after taking office, seeing the country as a key ally in his determination to counter Iran's influence in the Middle East.

Speaking to reporters in California Saturday, Trump indicated the report will have details on who is responsible for Khashoggi's killing.

"I don't know. Who can really know?" the president said.

Trump spoke with Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his flight to California.

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He pushed for Riyadh to disclose the location of Khashoggi's remains and called for the suspects to be tried in Turkey.

The CIA has reportedly concluded with high confidence that bin Mohammed was behind the killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month. Although he was videotaped entering the consulate, he never exited the building. Apparently, from the leak to the U.S. press, part of the evidence came from National Security Agency wiretaps of the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump said there is no reason for him to listen to a recording of the "very violent, very vicious" killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which has put him in a diplomatic bind: how to admonish Riyadh for the slaying yet maintain strong ties with a close ally. Specifically, she advocated that Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to Mohammed, be added to the list, and he ultimately was.

Trump and top officials of his administration have said Saudi Arabia must be held to account for any involvement in Khashoggi's death, but they have also stressed the importance of the alliance.

Turkish officials have said the killing was intentional and have been pressuring Saudi Arabia to extradite those responsible to stand trial. As evidence slowly unraveled, officials then said a fistfight broke out between Khashoggi and a 15-man team that was sent to Istanbul.

"It is the longstanding position of the European Union to oppose the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances", declared Mogherini, adding that judicial "due process" was important, also for Khashoggi's family.

Khashoggi was a contributing columnist to The Washington Post.

The State Department said the US government "is determined to hold all those responsible for the killing. accountable" but that "numerous unanswered questions" remain.

The Trump administration denied on Saturday that it had reached a final determination about Jamal Khashoggi, whose murder in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey was ordered by the kingdom's crown prince, according to a USA official has said. He has said he does not want the controversy over Khashoggi's death to impede the kingdom's oil production. Since the agency is aware that Mohammed Bin Salman is teflon inside Saudi Arabia, it seems probable that the target of the leak is in the US.

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