Trump taps retired general for ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Frederick Owens
November 14, 2018

His comments came as The New York Times reported that a member of the kill team instructed a superior over the phone to "tell your boss" - believed to be Prince Mohammed - that the mission had been accomplished.

Audio related to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi doesn't implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to US national security adviser John Bolton.

Although the name of the Crown Prince was not mentioned in the recording, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) believes that the word "your boss" was a reference to Mohammad bin Salman, as speculations indicate that he is the one who ordered the assassination.

According to sources, the phone call was made by Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul to target Khashoggi.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said he did not think that people who heard the recordings concluded that the crown prince was linked to the killing. In fact, when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recording he was so shocked that he said 'this one probably took heroin.

"The crown prince says "I will clarify the matter, I will do what is necessary". Saudi authorities have consistently denied the royal family's involvement in the incident and said that the killing of the columnist was a "rogue operation".

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and United States resident, was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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Turkey has said a 15-member Saudi "hit squad" strangled and dismembered Khashoggi at the consulate.

But Turkish officials say they played them the recordings but did not hand them over.

The high profile of Khashoggi, a USA -based Washington Post contributing columnist, and the drip-drip of sensational leaks about his demise have provoked a global outcry and tarnished the reputation of the brash young prince, whose efforts to cast himself as a bolder reformer and trusted US ally have often chafed against his policies overseas. His thesis focused on Saudi Arabia's weapons procurement policy.

The U.S. official's takeaways from the audio recordings, which are allegedly from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where Khashoggi was killed on October 2, are contrary to other reports. "We are waiting patiently", Erdogan said, adding that the perpetrators of the killing were among 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia. "It should be uncovered who gave the order to kill".

Trump now says Saudi Arabia misused USA -supplied weapons in the Saudi-led coalition's bombing campaign in Yemen, which has helped trigger the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

"We continue to be engaged with our allies on the investigation into accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and we are in discussions with our like-minded allies as to next steps towards Saudi Arabia", he said in response to a reporter's question.

The quote was confirmed by three sources familiar with the recordings.

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