Washington DC, June 24: United States President Donald Trump has on Monday turned down calls to probe the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia and refused to agree whether he would hold Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for his death, a day after a United Nations (UN) expert called for international investigation into Riyadh’s official’s involvement in the killing of Khashoggi.
In an interview on Sunday on “Meet the Press”, Trump disclosed he recently had a “great conversation” with the crown prince, also known MbS, during which he raised no issues related to a UN expert report or the killing of Khashoggi. The journalist was murdered on October 2 last year in Saudi consulate of Istanbul.
According to The Washington Post reports, when asked whether the FBI would be ordered to probe the case, as the UN has suggested, Trump said, “I think it’s been heavily investigated,” adding, “I’ve seen so many different reports.”
The development may be considered the latest instance of the US president trying to prioritize financial and strategic interest in Saudi Arabia over the CIA assessment, as well as, concerns from his party, who believes in holding MbS accountable for the killing of the dissent.
Although, Agnes Callamard, the UN investigator, didn’t find a “smoking gun” incriminating MbS but, her reports states “every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the Crown Prince being aware, at a minimum, that some sort of mission of a criminal nature, directed at Mr. Khashoggi, was being launched”.
“Mr. Khashoggi’s killing constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible,” the report states.