Trump wants Saudi Arabia as an ally despite 'vicious' Khashoggi murder

Saul Bowman
November 20, 2018

"Because it's a suffering tape, It's a bad tape".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr Khashoggi".

He added that the crown prince had directly denied involvement "maybe five times".

Trump said Saturday he had been briefed by CIA Director Gina Haspel about the agency's assessment of the killing and that a "very full report" on "who caused it, and who did it" would be delivered Tuesday. Mohammed has a close relationship with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviserwho helps to lead the administration's Middle East strategy.

Trump said he has been briefed on a recording of the murder that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shared with the US government, but he didn't want to listen to it "because it's a suffering tape, it's a bad tape".

"Everything points to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, MbS, ordering @washingtonpost journalist Jamal #Khashoggi's killing".

There is no direct evidence linking Mohammad to the Khashoggi's killing and his body has not been found, something that President Trump has pointed to his aides repeatedly, according to reports.

U.S. Congress has urged a thorough investigation in the murder and threatened to take more actions against Saudi Arabia if those responsible were not held accountable, like suspending U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia.

A conclusion that the crown prince was responsible for the murder of Khashoggi could endanger the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, The Wall Street Journal said.


"They have been a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development", Trump said. Trump said. "But I can say this: He's got many people now that say he had no knowledge".

"The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved", a United States official familiar with the CIA's conclusions, told the daily. That will include "who did it", he said.

The Saudi government has acknowledged communications between Khashoggi and Khalid but said they never discussed "anything related to going to Turkey".

President Donald Trump is under pressure to impose harsh sanctions against the nation for Khashoggi's killing, but he has been slow to respond.

"I don't - I don't know, you know, who could really know?" "I want Saudi to stop but I want Iran to stop also".

Saudi Arabia has offered shifting accounts of what happened, initially saying Khashoggi left the embassy after receiving his documents and later that he was killed when an argument degenerated into a fistfight.

Meanwhile, human rights activist Medea Benjamin, said on Twitter, "Even CIA says MBS behind murder of #JamalKhashoggi but Trump covers his ears".

Khashoggi, who had been critical of Mohammad's policies, had lived in the United States in self-imposed exile. This despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has admitted Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

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