Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally delivered a roadmap to Saudi King Salman to help his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, protect himself from the investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“Pompeo reportedly provided Saudi Arabia with a detailed plan on how to make sure its crown prince was protected from the fallout over Khashoggi’s murder”
Pompeo reportedly provided Saudi Arabia with a detailed plan on how to make sure its crown prince was protected from the fallout over Khashoggi’s murder https://t.co/w8OEHYTrLU
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 20, 2018
Pompeo delivered the plan in person during a meeting with Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), last month in Riyadh, exactly two weeks after Khashoggi’s brutal murder October 2 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to the news website Middle East Eye (MEE).
A senior Saudi source told the website the plan includes an option to blame the Washington Post columnist’s killing on an innocent member of the ruling al-Saud family to shield the crown prince and others at the top.
But that person has not yet been chosen, and Saudi leaders are still holding back on much of the plan until the pressure on bin Salman increases.
The U.S. State Department denied the Saudi source’s claims, saying they were “a complete misrepresentation of the secretary’s diplomatic mission to Saudi Arabia.”
“We’ve spoken publicly about our goals: to impress upon Saudi leadership the seriousness to which the United States government attaches to a prompt and complete accounting of the murder of Jamal Kashoggi,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told MEE.
But according to confidential Saudi sources, Pompeo presented his plan on October 16, when he traveled to Riyadh to meet with King Salman and MBS. At the time the as international scrutiny on the Khashoggi case was getting extremely intense, and the Trump administration was facing political pressure at home.
Just before Pompeo arrived in Riyadh, MEE reported that officials in Turkey had discovered that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered shortly after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Pompeo’s meeting with MBS in Riyadh was heavily criticized as global human rights groups had been demanding that Trump pressure Saudi Arabia to provide more information about their role in Khashoggi’s killing.
The day after he met with the Saudi rulers, Pompeo told reporters that they didn’t want to talk about the Khashoggi case, and neither did he.
“I don’t want to talk about any of the facts,” Pompeo said as he traveled to Turkey. “They didn’t want to either.”
The Saudi source told MEE that Pompeo went to Riyadh to advise the Saudis on how to handle the fallout in the Khashoggi case.
The Trump administration is expected to make a formal statement today about the U.S. findings so far in the investigation.
The CIA announced several days ago that it had completed an intelligence assessment which concluded that MBS had ordered Khashoggi’s murder. President Donald Trump, with no evidence, disputed the CIA findings.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.