After reports emerged linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman directly to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with CIA having a recording as proof, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday broke silence and brushed aside the CIA’s assessment as “only feelings” and not any hard proof.
There were reports doing rounds that CIA director Gina Haspel had hinted to Turkish officials last month that the agency had a recording of a call in which Saudi Arabia’s crown prince gave instructions to “silence” Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. However, today Trump contradicted these reports and stated that the CIA didn’t conclude, the agency only had only feelings about the involvement of Crown Prince.
Khashoggi, was a Saudi national and Washington Post columnist, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. He is believed to have been killed and dismembered. His body has not been found.
Last week, after numerous contradictory explanations by Saudi Arabia on the killing, Riyadh finally acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed and his body dismembered after he refused to return to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, when Trump was asked who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, US President had said that world was responsible for his death as it was a vicious place. And today he repeated the same stressing that his response on the issue has been guided by the economic ties with Riyadh.
US has a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia, an ally that said at the top level that they were not involved in the atrocity, Trump was quoted as saying by The Guardian while adding that even he disliked what happened but the fact was Riyadh was a strong ally that keeps the oil price down.