Published: Mon, November 19, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump calls Khashoggi recording 'a suffering tape', doesn't want to hear it

Trump calls Khashoggi recording 'a suffering tape', doesn't want to hear it

Not yet. "Recent reports indicating that the USA government has made a final conclusion [on the murder] are inaccurate", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Mr Trump was flying to survey wildfire damage in California at the time.

The CIA has determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, according to a report from The Washington Post. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the CIA had assessed with high confidence the role of the Saudi leader, based on multiple sources of intelligence.

Lawmakers critical of Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's killing and its role in Yemen's civil war are ramping up their efforts to clamp down on the country.

But the White House would do so "while maintaining the important strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia", Ms Nauert said.

She said the State Department would continue to seek the "relevant facts" and work towards making those involved in the killing accountable.

Based on intercepts and audio recordings, Central Intelligence Agency was widely reported by multiple media news publications as concluding that the crown prince had ordered the Khashoggi's killing, contradicting denials of his role by Riyadh and claims that the journalist was killed by rogue actors who went way beyond their brief. After repeated denials, Riyadh finally admitted Khashoggi had been murdered at the compound of its Istanbul Consulate but blamed it on a "rogue" operation.

President Donald Trump says his administration will release a full report in the next two days about the death of a Saudi journalist.

"I don't want to hear the tape, no reason for me to hear the tape", Trump told Fox News in a pre-recorded interview to be broadcast on Sunday. Recent reports indicating that the United States government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate.

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The president added, "He told me that he had nothing to do with it".

On Saturday, the US State Department's spokesman Heather Nauert refused to back the CIA's alleged findings.

Saudi public prosecutor Shalaan al-Shalaan said Thursday that Khashoggi's dismembered remains were removed from the consulate and handed off to an unidentified "local cooperator".

Riyadh had offered numerous contradictory explanations for his disappearance, before saying Khashoggi was killed after "negotiations" to convince him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

"You saw we put on very heavy sanctions, massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia", Trump continued. Who can really know?

Prince Khaled told Khashoggi he should go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so, the Post said.

"It should never have happened", Trump told reporters travelling with him to California.

Pence also described what he termed the murder as an "affront to a free and independent press."Saudi Arabia official narrative on the October 2 killing has oscillated: it first denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts and later said he was killed when an argument with Saudi officials degenerated into a fistfight".

US officials have been skeptical that the prince would not have known about plans to kill Khashoggi, given his power in Saudi Arabia.

A still image taken from CCTV video and obtained by TRT World claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, highlighted in a red circle by the source, as he stands with his fiancee Hatice Cengiz outside the Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul.

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