Saudi Officials Admit Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed at Istanbul Consulate

Saudi Officials Admit Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed at Istanbul Consulate

Saudi Arabia reportedly confirmed the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in a statement released early Saturday morning local time.

The overnight announcement in Saudi State media also said a royal court adviser close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was sacked along with three leaders in the kingdom's intelligence services and other officials.

Khashoggi, a prominent journalist and royal court insider for decades in Saudi Arabia, had written columns critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the kingdom's direction while living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. He went to the Saudi consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on late Friday talked with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud by phone over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

"The Kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if the Trump Administration will not take the lead, Congress must".

According to a statement released through state-run media, the Saudi government is now stating that an argument broke out between Khashoggi and men who met him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, leading to a fistfight that led to his death. According to Pompeo, the Saudis "strongly denied" having prior knowledge of whatever took place in the consulate and pledged to conduct a "thorough, transparent, and timely investigation".

The White House described Khashoggi's death as a "tragic incident" and said it would "continue to closely follow the global investigations".

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Kushner argued that Crown Prince Mohammed had survived criticism of the Gulf kingdom in the past and could do so again, The Times said. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged the Saudi government's explanation in her own statement: "We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi's death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends".

It also differs considerably from other reports of how Khashoggi died. Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday he thinks Khashoggi is dead, but is waiting for the conclusion of Turkish and Saudi investigations before he casts blame.

Senior White House officials fear that Kushner's public involvement would prompt further backlash over the U.S. response to the Khashoggi crisis, CNN reported.

Earlier this week a Secret Service agent physically prevented the CBS correspondent Errol Barnett from asking Kushner about the Khashoggi investigation.

Trump's response to the Khashoggi crisis has been lukewarm. We have $450 billion worth of things ordered from a very rich country. "That's based on everything - intelligence coming from every side". Mr. Trump, speaking at an event in Arizona, said he'll handle the situation similarly to the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in that regard.

He has repeatedly said he will not halt arms sales to Riyadh over the Khashoggi case. Trump has repeatedly touted United States arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

A close aide to the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was also reportedly dismissed.

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