The US president has the audio recording of Jamal Khashoggi murder, but does not want to listen to it because its content is “very violent”.
Donald Trump has again refused to comment on Saudi Arabia’s possible responsibility for the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Istanbul consulate in early October.
The President of the United States confirmed that he had the recording of the murder. “We have the recording, I do not want to listen to it (…) because it’s a recording of suffering,” he said in an interview with Fox News, broadcast this Sunday. “I have been fully briefed, there is no reason for me to listen to it,” he continued. “I know exactly what happened (…) it was very violent, very brutal and horrible”.
According to the Washington Post and the New York Times, the CIA has concluded that “MBS” sponsored the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department assured Saturday that the United States had, at this stage, reached no “definitive conclusion” on the responsibilities in this murder.
The prince, who disputes any implication, “lied to you”, asked the Fox News reporter to the president of the United States? “I do not know, who can really know?”, Replied the US president. “He told me he had nothing to do with it, he told me maybe five times, on different occasions, including a few days ago,” he added.
Charges on “MBS”
Recalling that the United States had announced targeted financial sanctions against Saudi officials, he also insisted at length that Saudi Arabia is a valuable ally. “I want to stay with an ally who, in many ways, has been excellent,” he said. “They are a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” he said Saturday. “I am president, I have to take a lot of things into account”.
To reach its conclusions, reports the Washington Post, the CIA relied in particular on a call between Jamal Khashoggi and the brother of the powerful crown prince, Saudi ambassador to the United States. According to the daily, Khalid bin Salmane told the journalist to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, assuring him that nothing would happen to him. The Washington Post, for which Mr. Khashoggi was collaborating, adds that he had made this phone call at the request of his brother.
Khalid bin Salman quickly rebuked these allegations. “This is a serious accusation that should not be left to anonymous sources,” he wrote on Twitter, assuring that he had never discussed a trip to Turkey with the journalist.