Saudi officials are preparing to say that Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi died inside their embassy during an interrogation gone wrong. The report comes as the Saudi explanation for Khashoggi’s disappearance began to crumble under international incredulity. They had previously said they had no idea where he was.
CBS News reports: “The officials told CBS News reporter Kylie Atwood that the Saudi government was expected to claim a mission was approved by King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (often referred to as MBS), to interrogate Khashoggi, but not kill him. They will say, according to Atwood’s sources, that the journalist died as the result of an interrogation by Saudi operatives that went wrong.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid a visit to Saudi officials today in Riyadh: ‘Pompeo had a short discussion with King Salman before a scheduled meeting later in the day with the King’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo “thanked the King for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation” of the Khashoggi case. There was no public mention of any new Saudi explanation of Khashoggi’s disappearance. CNN’s sources say Saudi Arabia will contend that the Washington Post columnist died when an interrogation went awry.’
New: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia lasted no more than 15 minutes, CNN estimates based on the time the top U.S. diplomat’s motorcade arrived at the royal court and departed. #Khashoggi
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 16, 2018