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Trump defends Saudi Arabia ties despite Khashoggi murder

Trump defends Saudi Arabia ties despite Khashoggi murder

The US has sanctioned 17 individuals for involvement in the plot, including several trusted advisers of the powerful crown prince.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday that claims by the Central Intelligence Agency that Prince Mohammed ordered Khashoggi's murder were false.

Saudi officials gave conflicting accounts of what happened to Khashoggi before finally acknowledging that he was killed by members of a team who were trying to return him to the kingdom. The United States took a very strong response.

'Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't!

The CIA, relying mainly on circumstantial evidence and expert conclusion, believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Mr Khashoggi's assassination but the oil-rich kingdom's foreign minister has rejected the claims.

When asked on possible French action, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "We are working very closely with Germany at this moment. and we will decide ourselves a certain number of sanctions very quickly over what we know (about the murder)".

Trump's statement seeks to portray Saudi Arabia as an essential USA ally in a struggle against Iran, and an irreplaceable customer for U.S. arms sales.

Trump said U.S. intelligence agencies are still studying the evidence in an attempt to discover how Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and who planned it.

White House threatens to suspend CNN reporter's press pass again
Mike Huckabee, a letter had been sent to CNN , and it is "frankly laughable" the network claims its access has been hindered. Acosta then refused to pass the microphone to a female White House aide and there was brief contact between the two.


President Donald Trump has said Washington intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure interests of the United States, Israel and regional partners.

The first two sentences - "America First!".

While the statement noted Khashoggi's murder was "an unacceptable and disgusting crime", it also said "we may never know all of the facts" surrounding journalist's killing.

The audio is said to contain conversations between members of the so-called hit squad, talking about one of them wearing the slain journalist's clothing to act as a decoy after his murder.

News agencies, including Reuters, reported the CIA's finding at the weekend in a case that has sparked an worldwide outcry against the world's top oil exporter. He said he will consider their recommendations, but only if they are "consistent with the absolute security and safety of America".

A Saudi prosecutor cleared the crown prince of wrongdoing last week while calling for the death penalty for five men, announcing indictments against 11.

The US President told Fox News Sunday he would not listen to the recording "because it's a suffering tape, it's a awful tape". The official said the government's reporting was being updated daily.


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