Trump Briefed by CIA Director Haspel on Khashoggi Probe

Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris France

Signaling a major pivot in its narrative, Saudi Arabia on Thursday said evidence shows that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated, an apparent effort to ease worldwide outrage over the death of a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Haspel visited Turkey to investigate Khashoggi's death, and the Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Haspel, while in Turkey, heard audio allegedly produced during the columnist's interrogation and murder. US intelligence officials and lawmakers as well as the European Union have said that an operation targeting a critic of the royal court in a foreign country is unlikely to have been ordered without the knowledge of senior Saudi officials. Representatives for the CIA and Turkish intelligence declined to comment.

Mevlut Cavusoglu is Turkey's foreign minister.

She said: "Good news for a change: confirming that Jamal Khashoggi's son Salah and his family are finally out of Riyadh and on their way to the USA, travel ban lifted".

"On this occasion, and from this place where the spirit of Jamal has been lost, we clearly state that we will not accept compromises in the case of his murder", the group outside the consulate said in a statement, read out in Arabic, Turkish and English.

After first insisting Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, Saudi authorities said he was killed in an argument that degenerated into a brawl.




Salah Jamal Khashoggi and his uncle Sahl bin Ahmed Khashoggi were received Tuesday by Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who expressed their condolences over the killing of the dissident journalist.

"The chancellor urged Saudi Arabia to ensure a rapid, transparent and credible investigation". One source said Salah Khashoggi holds dual U.S. -Saudi citizenship and had been under a travel ban.

A photograph of the meeting published by the official Saudi Press Agency showed Salah staring coldly at the prince as the pair shook hands. Several carried cardboard images of his face and signs reading "Khashoggi's friends".

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called Khashoggi's murder a "savage killing" and demanded Riyadh punish those responsible, no matter how highly placed.

King Salman also spoke to Vladimir Putin on Thursday, telling the Russian president that the Saudi government was determined to hold the guilty parties accountable and to make sure "they receive their punishment". Speaking at an investment forum he was hosting in Riyadh, the crown prince called the killing a "heinous crime" but offered no new information on what happened.

Governments around the world, however, did not believe those claims.

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