Donald Trump briefed on Khashoggi murder by CIA
US President Donald Trump, while flying to California on Saturday, was briefed on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi after a CIA assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, the White House said.
Trump discussed the CIA assessment by phone with the agency’s director, Gina Haspel, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.
The CIA had briefed other parts of the US government, including Congress, on its assessment, sources told Reuters on Friday, a development that complicates Trump’s efforts to preserve ties with the key US ally.
A source familiar with the CIA’s assessment said it was based largely on circumstantial evidence relating to the prince’s central role in running the Saudi government.
The CIA’s finding is the most definitive U.S. assessment to date tying Saudi Arabia’s de factor ruler directly to the killing and contradicts Saudi government assertions that Prince Mohammed was not involved.
Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House before flying to California, also reiterated that he had been told the crown prince had not played a role in the journalist’s death.
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