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Trump reportedly 'skeptical' of CIA determination that Saudi Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi murder

November 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Jon Queally, Common Dreams

“CIA doesn't just contradict the Saudis, but also the Trump WH.”

All the circumspection, laughter, and Trump administration statements that even at the time seemed bizarre and gullible, say critics, appear even more damning on Friday night after the Washington Post reported that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency believes the evidence shows that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, directly ordered the murder of  journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to the Post's reporting:

In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince's brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence.

Khalid told Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, that 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.  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 U.S. intelligence.

In a statement in response to the Post's story, the Saudi ambassador denied the accuracy of the reporting—claiming he never lured Khashoggi anywhere—and said such a “serious accusation should be not be left to anonymous sources.”

CIA has determined that Saudi Crown Prince MBS was responsible for Khashoggi killing. Trump has been briefed. He keeps asking about body — CIA doesn't know — and saying MBS maybe didn't order the killing. And he talks about oil and arms sales. https://t.co/2vuK4EfDjW

— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) November 16, 2018

One U.S. official familiar with the CIA's conclusions told the newspaper that the agency's “accepted position is that there is no way this happened without [the crown prince] being aware or involved.”

Offering further details, the Post reporting adds:

Among the intelligence assembled by the CIA is an audio recording from a listening device that the Turks placed inside the Saudi consulate, according to the people familiar with the matter. The Turks gave the CIA a copy …read more


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