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Saudi crown prince sent messages to aide who oversaw Khashoggi killing

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Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a vocal critic of
Saudi leadership, was killed on October 2 after entering the
Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain marriage documents for
his upcoming wedding.

The CIA assessment state the agency has “medium-to-high
confidence” that the prince “personally targeted” Khashoggi and
“probably ordered his death.”

Despite the findings, the report also said: “To be clear, we
lack direct reporting of the Crown Prince issuing a kill
order.”

Prince Mohammed apparently sent the electronic messages to aide
Saud al-Qahtani, who oversaw the 15-man team that killed
Khashoggi, though the report says the content of the messages
isn’t known. Al-Qahtani was sanctioned by the White House last
month for his involvement.

The report said it was unclear in the excerpts if the comments
came directly from the crown prince or were from someone
describing the communications.


Read more:‘Saudi Arabia First, not America
First’: Even top GOP allies of Trump are railing against his
defense of Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s brutal
murder

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James
Mattis have also demurred at responding to the connections,
with Mattis insisting recently that the US had “no smoking gun” tied to
Prince Mohammed.

The Trump administration’s reluctance to acknowledge reports
from the justice community stands in contrast to calls for a US
response from lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell
, who demanded action for Khashoggi’s death, which
he called “completely abhorrent to everything the United States
holds dear and stands for.”

The Senate rebuked Trump last week when it advanced a bill that
would end US support for Saudi efforts in Yemen’s civil war, a
bill the Trump administration had opposed.

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