CIA Director Travels To Turkey Over Death Of Saudi Journalist
U.S. media reports say CIA director Gina Haspel is traveling to Istanbul to meet with Turkish officials who are investigating the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Sources told news outlets that Haspel departed Monday for Turkey to work on the investigation into Khashoggi’s death.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that he has “top intelligence people in Turkey,” but did not give further details. Trump said he is still not satisfied with the explanation he has heard about Khashoggi’s death, but said “we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
The president said he had spoken with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler — since Khashoggi’s death. He said he will know more about the death once U.S. teams investigating the killing return to Washington from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
In another development Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met Saudi Arabia’s embattled crown prince in Riyadh. The Saudi Foreign Ministry posted a photograph of the meeting on its Twitter account.
Mnuchin canceled his plans to attend a three-day investment conference hosted by Saudi Arabia beginning Tuesday, but said he would meet the Saudi crown prince to discuss counterterrorism efforts.
New surveillance video released Monday from Istanbul appears to show a Saudi agent wearing Khashoggi’s clothing and leaving Riyadh’s consulate on Oct. 2, an apparent attempt to cover up his killing by showing he had left the diplomatic outpost alive.
The video was taken by Turkish law enforcement and shown Monday on CNN, suggesting Saudi agents used a body double in an effort to conceal the killing.
The video surfaced as Saudi officials offered yet another explanation for the death of the 59-year-old Saudi journalist who had been living in the U.S. in self-imposed exile while he wrote columns for The Washington Post that were critical of the Saudi crown prince and Riyadh’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen.
The Saudis at first said Khashoggi had left the consulate and that they did not know his whereabouts. Later, they said he died in a fistfight after an argument inside the consulate. Now, the Saudis are saying Khashoggi died in a chokehold to prevent him from leaving the consulate to call for help.
It is not known what happened to Khashoggi’s remains, although Turkish officials say he was tortured, decapitated and then dismembered. One Saudi official told ABC News that Khashoggi’s body was given to a “local cooperator” in Istanbul for disposal, but Saudi officials have said they do not know what happened to his remains.
In Washington, White House adviser Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, told CNN the U.S. is still in a “fact-finding” phase in trying to determine exactly what happened to Khashoggi.
“We’re getting facts in from multiple places,” Kushner said. He said that Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will then decide how to respond to Saudi Arabia, a long-time American ally.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is vowing to reveal details about the case in a Tuesday speech to his parliament.