CIA Director Gina Haspel Reports To the President On the Jamal Khashoggi case

Trump briefed by CIA chief on Khashoggi killing

© Greg Nash

CIA Director Gina Haspel is back from Turkey and has briefed President Trump on what she found out about the Jamal Khashoggi case.

The White House confirmed Thursday that Haspel briefed Trump on the investigation, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying she updated Trump on her “findings and discussions” in Turkey.

But the White House did not provide further details, and the CIA did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump previously said he would wait until hearing from Haspel before rendering final judgment on who was responsible for the dissident journalist’s killing.

What Haspel found 

Haspel reportedly listened to the audio Turkey purports is of Khashoggi’s torture and murder.

The Washington Post reported that a personal familiar with the audio called it “compelling.”

Saudis change story, again 

Earlier Thursday, a Saudi official said for the first time the killing of journalist and Saudi critic Khashoggi was premeditated.

The Saudi attorney general said preliminary findings indicate the Khashoggi killing was premeditated.

The admission comes just days after the Saudis acknowledged Khashoggi was killed in their consulate in Istanbul. But their Friday explanation was that he died inadvertently during a physical altercation during an unapproved mission gone awry to bring him back to Saudi Arabia.

And that explanation had come after weeks of the Saudis claiming Khashoggi left the consulate alive the same day he arrived.

Lawmakers still not having it

The shifting explanations have appeared to only deepen lawmakers’ skepticism of Saudi Arabia.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, (speaking through his arse) put out a statement Thursday calling for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to direct those responsible for Khashoggi’s death to produce his body.

“If the Crown Prince is unable or unwilling to do so, then it will become clear that he is complicit in the cover up,” Reed said.

“The Saudis ever changing story underscores the need for an independent and credible international investigation of what happened to Mr. Khashoggi,” Reed added. “If President Trump abdicates his responsibility to hold the Saudis accountable then Congress must go it alone. Congress must follow the facts and act in a responsible, bipartisan manner to hold the killers, and those who ordered the killing, accountable.”

H/T The Hill

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