Khashoggi murder 'worst cover-up in history': Trump

Khashoggi murder ‘worst cover-up in history': Trump

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US President Donald Trump has called Saudi Arabia’s response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “the worst cover-up ever”.
He added that whoever organised the plot “should be in big trouble”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, shortly afterwards, that the US “will punish those responsible” and is revoking visas of 21 identified suspects.

The US has faced pressure to toughen its stance on Saudi Arabia, a key ally.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Mr Trump said: “They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly and the cover up was the worst in the history of cover-ups.”
“Whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble.”
The Saudi kingdom has provided conflicting accounts of what happened to Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post contributor. After weeks of maintaining he was still alive, the authorities now say the 59-year-old was murdered in a rogue operation after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Mr Trump’s criticisms of Saudi officials are his strongest so far, but he has continued to highlight the kingdom’s importance as a US ally.
In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal published late on Tuesday, Mr Trump addressed the possible involvement of senior Saudi royals in the killing and said he did not believe King Salman had prior knowledge of the crime.
When asked about the possible role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the president replied: “Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him.”
He said he had questioned the crown prince about Khashoggi’s death, and been told he did not know about the operation when it was being planned.
Asked if he believed the royal family’s denial of any involvement in the killing, Mr Trump gave a long pause before saying: “I want to believe them, I really want to believe them,” the newspaper said.
Mr Trump also said US intelligence officials, including CIA director Gina Haspel, were returning from Turkey and Saudi Arabia with information about the case.

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