CIA reportedly determines Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi

  • NBC News and the Washington Post reported that the CIA believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • The Saudi Embassy in Washington denied the reports.
  • Khashoggi died after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 2.
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (C) visits Innovation and Technology fair at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, March 25, 2018.
Bandar Algaloud | Saudi Kingdom Council | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (C) visits Innovation and Technology fair at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, March 25, 2018.

The CIA has determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, NBC News reported Friday, citing a person briefed on the CIA's assessment.

The CIA declined NBC News' request for comment Friday night.

The Washington Post, which first reported the CIA findings, said the U.S. intelligence agency has high confidence in its findings. Khashoggi was a resident of the United States from Saudi Arabia, and he was a columnist for the Washington Post.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington denied the reports.

"The claims in this purported assessment are false," the embassy said in a statement. "We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations."

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would speak with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the CIA about Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, Bloomberg said on Twitter. This according to a Reuters report.

Khashoggi died after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 2. Saudi Arabia has said that Khashoggi died in an altercation at the consulate, but its explanations around the journalist's death have changed more than once.

CIA investigated phone call, Post says

According to the Post's report, the CIA looked into a phone call between the crown prince's brother, who also serves as the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Khalid bin Salman and Khashoggi. Sources told the Post that during that call, Khashoggi was directed to pick up documents at the consulate.

While the Post said it was not clear whether Khalid bin Salman knew that Khashoggi would be killed, sources told the Post that he made the call at his brother's request.

Khalid bin Salman made a response to the Post through Twitter in which he denied any phone communication with Khashoggi more recent than about a year ago: "As we told the Washington Post the last contact I had with Mr. Khashoggi was via text on Oct 26 2017. I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim."

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said he was seeking the death penalty for some of the suspects charged with Khashoggi's murder.

Read the full report at NBC News.

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