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Bolton says he hasn’t listened to audio of Jamal Khashoggi killing

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John Bolton
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said
he has not listened to audio of Jamal Khashoggi’s
killing.

Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty
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  • White House National Security Adviser John Bolton on Tuesday
    said he hadn’t listened to audio of the killing of Saudi
    journalist Jamal Khashoggi because he does not speak
    Arabic. 
  • Bolton said to reporters, “What do you think I’ll learn
    from it? Everybody who says ‘Why don’t you listen to the
    tape’—unless you speak Arabic, what are you going to get from
    it?”
  • Bolton said people who speak Arabic have listened to the tape
    and given White House advisers the “substance” of what is in
    it. 

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton on Tuesday said
he hadn’t listened to audio of the killing of Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi because he does not speak Arabic. 

Speaking with reporters during a press briefing at the
White House, Bolton said, “What do you think I’ll learn from it?
Everybody who says ‘Why don’t you listen to the tape’—unless you
speak Arabic, what are you going to get from it?”

Reporters continued to pressure Bolton on the subject, noting
that as the national security adviser to the White House, he’s
arguably obliged to review materials linked to a case that’s
become intrinsically linked to US foreign policy. 

Bolton said people who speak Arabic have listened to the tape and
given White House advisers the “substance” of what is in
it. 

Khashoggi, who was a US resident and wrote columns for The
Washington Post, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on
October 2. 

The Trump administration’s response to Khashoggi’s killing has
become a subject of great controversy, particularly after the
president issued a forceful defense of the kingdom last Tuesday.
President Donald Trump essentially signaled to the world he was
not willing to give up the purported economic benefits of the
US-Saudi relationship, including arms sales and low oil prices,
over the killing of a journalist. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the
kingdom, is widely suspected of orchestrating the killing.
Khashoggi had often been critical of the prince and the royal
family in his writing. 

Trump has been reluctant to pin the killing on Prince Mohammed,
however, despite reports the CIA has concluded with “high
confidence” the Saudi leader ordered the hit. 

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