CIA pins Jamal Khashoggi murder on Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman

Turkey Saudi Arabia Writer Killed

Also before leaving on his trip, Trump said Saudi Arabia was "a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development".

Trump was briefed Saturday on the USA investigation of the killing of Khashoggi by telephone by CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while the president was aboard Air Force One en route to California to inspect the devastation from wildfires in the western state. On Saturday, the US State Department's spokesman Heather Nauert refused to back the CIA's alleged findings.

A State Department statement says the reports that the government "has made a final conclusion are inaccurate".

"Numerous unanswered questions" remain, a State Department statement said.

The senior United States official also told the American news network that "investigators also believe an operation such as the one that ended in Khashoggi's death would not have happened without bin Salman's knowledge given his control of the government". "We're going to have to find out what they have to say".

The Saudi government claimed it was a botched attempt to interrogate Khashoggi that caused his death, but audiotapes recently discovered prove otherwise.

The US intelligence agency also said in determining the crown prince's role it considered him a "de facto ruler" of Saudi Arabia: "The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved", the Post quoted an official as saying. He says the USA will need to be clear about the ramifications of sanctions, given Saudi Arabia's strategic role in the Middle East.

Turkey has said that the killing was carried out by a team of 15 individuals, including a two-man "clean-up team".

The CIA conclusions threaten to further fray relations between Washington and longtime ally Riyadh, which has sought to end discussion of the murder and rejected calls for an worldwide investigation.

Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government and a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 when he went there to pick up documents he needed for his planned marriage to a Turkish woman.

"I know exactly, I know everything that went on in the tape without having to hear it".

Saudi Writer Killed
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in October

However, Nauert noted that the USA side will "maintain strategic relationship" with Saudi Arabia. "This brazen killing must have consequences - sanctions, prosecution, removal of MBS & others, not continued cover-up, enabled by Trump".

Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was more guarded in assessing the reports, as the CIA has not yet made public its assessment of whether or not the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing.

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

He added: "We also have a great ally in Saudi Arabia".

The CIA assessment contradicts Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor who one day earlier exonerated the crown prince in the killing of Khashoggi.

On 15 November, the Saudi Prosecutor General's Office reported that Khashoggi died in the consulate in Istanbul after being "forcibly restrained, and injected with a large amount of a drug resulting in an overdose that led to his death".

"Well, will anybody really know?"

The claim, first reported by The Washington Post, has been denied by the Saudi government.

"The CIA will be speaking to me today", he said.

Turkish police crime scene investigators, looking for possible clues into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, walk toward an underground parking lot, where authorities had found a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate, in Istanbul, October 23, 2018.

California Wildfires Continue to Rage As Death Tolls Climb
The probe targets PG&E in northern California and Southern California Edison Company, the Bay Area News Group reported . A structure and a motorcycle burn at an RV park during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California, November 10, 2018.

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