Stephen Colbert joined a chorus of lawmakers ripping Donald Trump for his ‘maybe he did and maybe he didn’t’ claim about the the murder of Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday evening.
Colbert said in a segment that made a mockery of Trump’s day that ‘a Magic-8 Ball’ would have taken a firmer stance’ on the crown prince of Saudi Arabia played journalist’s death.
‘Did Donald Trump just knowingly provide cover for a murderous autocrat?’ Colbert asked. ‘Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t.’
Stephen Colbert joined a chorus of lawmakers ripping Donald Trump for his ‘maybe he did and maybe he didn’t’ claim about the the murder of Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday evening
Trump had declared in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that ‘the world is a dangerous place’ but that doesn’t mean that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the dissident’s death.
‘It is now,’ Colbert said searing the president. ‘Apparently you can kill a Washington Post journalist and the president don’t give a damn.’
Trump refused to admit that he was wrong on Wednesday to clear bin Salman before all of the intelligence surrounding Khashoggi’s death had been assessed.
He insisted he was right not to condemn Saudi Arabian leaders despite the harsh criticism of his pronouncement that the crown prince may have been in the dark.
Trump held the declining price of oil, of which Saudi Arabia is the top exporter, as a reason for maintaining a positive relationship with the kingdom.
‘Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82,’ he said. ‘Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!’
Donald Trump insisted he was right not to condemn Saudi Arabian leaders for journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder on Wednesday morning after harsh criticism of his pronouncement the day before that the crown prince may have been in the dark
Trump held the declining price of oil, of which Saudi Arabia is the top exporter, as a reason for maintaining a positive relationship with the kingdom
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he had nothing to do with with the death, but the CIA has confidentially assessed that couldn’t plausibly be the case
The president had argued the afternoon prior that Saudi Arabia could jack up the price of oil and drive up consumer costs while defending a much-maligned announcement that he would take no action at this time against the nation for Khashoggi’s assassination.
Bin Salman says he had nothing to do with with the death, but the CIA has confidentially assessed that couldn’t plausibly be the case. It’s unlikely that the de facto ruler of the kingdom was unaware of what was happening inside the consulate where Khashoggi was tortured and then murdered.
Speaking before he boarded Marine One for the first leg of a trip to Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving, President Trump refused to retreat from a claim he had made in a written statement that there was no certainty bin Salman ordered the brutal killing of the dissident Washington Post columnist.
He claimed that Russia and China would sweep in and take Saudi investments for themselves if America introduced tough new sanctions on the oil-rich nation.
The president also denied he had any personal business interest in the Saudi economy, claiming that being president had cost him ‘a fortune like you have never seen.’
Trump spoke after the White House issued an exclamation point-littered statement on Khashoggi’s killing that went against a reported CIA assessment that it was high probable bin Salman ordered the journalist’s murder.
His position entirely ignored the CIA’s findings and prompted an immediate backlash from prominent senators.
‘I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,’ Sen. Bob Corker tweeted.
On the White House’s South Lawn Trump explained: ‘It is all about America first – it is America first.
‘We’re not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars of orders and let Russia, China, everybody else have them,’ he said.
Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday evening tweeting ‘America First’
America first: Trump defiantly said he would not blame Mohammed bin Salman for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder because he did not want to ‘break with Saudi Arabia.’
That’s all folks: Trump spoke before he got on Marine One to begin his journey to Mar-a-Lago
Trump suggested that among the deals which would be at stake were investment in military equipment made by Saudi Arabia, which he claimed was part of a $400 billion investment by Saudi in the U.S.
‘They’re paying us 400 billion plus,’ he claimed. ‘That’s probably the biggest amount ever paid to the United States. This is over a long period of time.’
In the past, the president has claimed a $110 billion investment from the Saudis in defense equipment that would disappear if the U.S. sanctioned the nation’s military sector.
‘If you think I’m going to let Russia have that money or those things, if you think I’m going to let China make the military equipment — hey, China and Russia would love to make a hundred billion dollars worth of military equipment from Saudi Arabia. We have the contracts. They wanted those contracts,’ he said on Tuesday.
‘That would be a big fat beautiful gift to Russia and China. They are not going to get that gift.’
He also said that he believed Saudis would send up global oil prices, which he took personal credit for keeping low.
‘Saudi Arabia, if we break with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof,’ he said. ‘I’ve kept them down. They’ve helped me keep them down.’
If he were to act against the kingdom, Trump suggested there would be a global economic meltdown.
‘Right now we have oil prices in great shape. I’m not going to destroy the world economy, and I’m not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia.’
He added, ‘I think the statement was pretty obvious what I said. It’s about America First.’
Trump also denied that he had any personal financial interest in Saudi Arabia, saying: ‘Well I have nothing to do with Saudi — just so you understand.
‘I don’t make deals with Saudi Arabia. I don’t have money from Saudi Arabia. I have nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. I couldn’t care less,’ he insisted. ‘As most of you know, being president has cost me a fortune, and that’s okay with me. I knew that a long time ago.’
He said the presidency has cost him more than he’s profited, although he refused to say how much.
‘Being president has cost me a fortune. A tremendous fortune like you’ve never seen before. But some day I’ll tell you what that is.’
His claims came in response to the critical reception that a lengthy written statement defending Saudi Arabia had received.
Before he pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys, Trump indicated that he wasn’t convinced by the CIA’s version of the events leading to Khashoggi’s death.
‘Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!’ the president said.
The CIA has determined that Mohammed bin Salman not only knew about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, but that he ordered it. But Trump, in a lengthy statement just before he pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys, said he wasn’t convinced
Trump’s intervention serves to prop up MBS, who is a close ally of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, at a time when the top of the wider Saudi royal family is no longer united in backing him.
One of his uncles is being suggested as the next king by other family members, leaving MBS more politically exposed than he had been before the furor over the murder.
The president’s was warned by two Republican senators who he sees as key allies, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, that he was wrong not to sanction Saudi Arabia and MBS, even though he left the option open to Congess.
Graham said it is not in U.S. national security interests to ‘look the other way when it comes to the brutal murder’ of Khashoggi.
The South Carolina senator said he thinks there will be strong bipartisan support in Congress for serious sanctions against Saudi Arabia and members of the royal family.
Paul also said it was a ‘mistake’ for Trump to continue supporting arms sales to the Saudis, saying ‘it’s a sign of weakness not to stand up to Saudi Arabia.’
The Kentucky senator has been trying to convince Trump to halt the $100 billion in arms sales that Trump says Saudi Arabia already committed to. Paul said Trump’s position signals that Saudi Arabia can ‘just behead anybody that protests against the kingdom.’
He also said selling arms is not a ‘jobs program,’ and the U.S. should not reward Saudi Arabia’s ‘bad behavior.’ He claimed he has the votes in the Senate to block it.
Trump’s stunning statement came hours before the president was due to depart the White House for a family holiday at Mar-a-Lago.
And it was just days after the president admitted he had not listened to an audio tape provided by the Turkish government of Khashoggi’s murder, because it was too gruesome.
‘It was very violent, very vicious and terrible,’ Trump told told Fox News on Friday.
Turmp said then that he didn’t know if MBS was lying to him when he told him that he had no knowledge of the murder.
In the interview for Fox News Sunday the president replied: ‘Well, will anybody really know? All right, will anybody really know? But he did have certainly people that were reasonably close to him and close to him that were probably involved.
‘You saw we put on very heavy sanctions, massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia. But at the same time we do have an ally and I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good,’ he explained.
The president on Tuesday said that he was still open to sanctions that could be imposed by Congress in the lame duck session but would only support them if they were in the United States’ national security interests.
He insisted, ‘The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone.’
Yet, the U.S. president said he would take no further action because the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia is too valuable.
‘That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,’ he again asserted.
His statement, sent early Tuesday afternoon, claimed, ‘They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.’
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif fired back on Twitter.
‘Mr. Trump bizarrely devotes the FIRST paragraph of his shameful statement on Saudi atrocities to accuse IRAN of every sort of malfeasance he can think of. Perhaps we’re also responsible for the California fires, because we didn’t help rake the forests – just like the Finns do?’
The comment was a jab at Trump’s claim in an interview that wildfires could be prevented by better raking of weeds and underneath trees.
MBS pal Jared Kushner is pictured with his family at the president’s turkey pardoning minutes after the statement went out on Tuesday
TRUMP’S EXCLAMATION POINT LITTERED STATEMENT ON WHY HE WON’T BLAME SAUDI ARABIA FOR MURDER OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI
Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia
The world is a very dangerous place!
The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, ‘Death to America!’ and ‘Death to Israel!’ Iran is considered ‘the world’s leading sponsor of terror.’
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism.
After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!
The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.
Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an ‘enemy of the state’ and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!
That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!
I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!
In addition to invoking Iran, Trump had contended the United States has already taken ‘strong action’ against the alleged perpetrators of the crime that MBS says he wasn’t aware of.
‘After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body,’ he said.
Members of Congress, including expected House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, were incredulous at Trump’s statement on Tuesday.
‘It is true that our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, not just its Crown Prince, and that must factor into our response. But to suggest ‘maybe he did and maybe he didn’t’ or that we are incapable of finding out the truth, or that knowing the truth our silence can be bought with arms sales, undermines respect for the Office of the Presidency, the credibility of our intelligence community and America’s standing as a champion of human rights,’ Schiff responded.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, another California Democrat, said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, ‘I’m shocked that President Trump said there will be no punishment for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.’
‘I plan to vote against any future arms sales and appropriation to Saudi Arabia. I also believe that the United States should consider sanctions against the crown prince and that the Saudi ambassador to the United States should not be allowed to continue in that role,’ she insisted.
Trump in a rebuttal to the complaints had said in his comments that he understands if Congress wants to pursue a different course of action than he did.
‘I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America,’ he argued.
He specifically noted that Saudi Arabia is a large producer of oil.
‘They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world,’ he said. ‘As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!’
JAMAL KHASHOGGI’S PUBLISHER VENTS FURY AT TRUMP’S ‘BETRAYAL’ OF VALUES
Washington Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said:
President Trump’s response to the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a betrayal of long-established American values of respect for human rights and the expectation of trust and honesty in our strategic relationships.
He is placing personal relationships and commercial interests above American interests in his desire to continue to do business as usual with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
The Central Intelligence Agency has thoroughly investigated the murder of this innocent journalist and concluded with high confidence that it was directed by the Crown Prince.
If there is reason to doubt the findings of the CIA, President Trump should immediately make that evidence public.
President Trump is correct in saying the world is a very dangerous place.
His surrender to this state-oriented murder will only make it more so.
An innocent man, brutally slain, deserves better, as does the cause of truth and justice and human rights.
In this failure of leadership from President Trump, it now falls to Congress to stand up for America’s true values and lasting interests.
At the White House on Monday, the president’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway had insisted that sanctions were not permanently off the table after launching a passionate defense of the president’s actions so far.
She said that Trump would make a decision after reading an intelligence community report.
Vice President Mike Pence had told reporters while he was in Australia that the U.S would hold ‘all of those who are responsible’ for the murder accountable.
‘The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity. It was also an affront to a free and independent press and the United States is determined to hold all of those accountable who are responsible for that murder,’ Pence told reporters traveling with him on Saturday.
Trump then released a puzzling statement defending the Saudis and the crown prince.
‘King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi,’ he again pointed out.
It was more love than MBS was getting from inside the royal family.
Sources close to the royal court told Reuters that princes and cousins from inside the Al Saud family are asking for a change in the line of succession. They acknowledged that the 82-year-old king is unlikely to ditch his son, however.
A Washington Post report over the weekend said the U.S. had high confidence in a CIA assessment that MBS would have been knowledgeable about events happening in the kingdom he effectively rules.
The CIA’s confidence level was lifted, CNN reported, after receiving an audio tape provided to the U.S. by the Turkish government earlier this month.
Khashoggi can be heard ordering his killers to release him in the audio recording of his murder, before one of the killers shouts: ‘Traitor! You will be brought to account,’ according to Turkish media.
The audio allegedly also includes a conversation between members of the ‘hit squad’ during which one of them complains about having to wear Khashoggi’s clothing to act as a decoy after his murder.
Shortly after entering the consulate in Istanbul, according to Haberturk, the journalist can also be heard saying, ‘Release my arm! What do you think you are doing?’
The exchange is followed by ‘a verbal quarrel, noises of a physical fight and then beating and torture’, the newspaper reported.
More than an hour after Khashoggi enters the consulate, a male voice can allegedly be heard saying ‘it is spooky to wear the clothes of a man whom we killed 20 minutes ago.’
The 59-year-old Washington Post journalist was last seen entering the building on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage to his Turkish fiancee.
According to Turkish officials, the audio recording proves that Khashoggi was strangled to death and dismembered soon after entering the consulate.
At the State Department, the nation’s chief diplomat, Mike Pompeo, echoed the president at a press briefing, telling reporters, ‘As the president said today, the United States will continue to have a relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.’
‘This is a long, historic commitment and one that is absolutely vital to Americans’ national security,’ he said.
King Salman, 82, made a speech in Riyadh on Monday where he backed his son and made no direct reference to Khashoggi’s murder, except to praise the Saudi prosecutor
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Key moments surrounding the writer’s disappearance and death
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote critically of the kingdom’s policies and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say a 15-men team tortured, killed and dismembered the writer, while Saudi Arabia says he died in a ‘fistfight.’
Here are some key moments in the slaying of the Washington Post columnist:
BEFORE HIS DISAPPEARANCE
September 2017: The Post publishes the first column by Khashoggi in its newspaper, in which the former royal court insider and longtime journalist writes about going into a self-imposed exile in the U.S. over the rise of Prince Mohammed. His following columns criticize the prince and the kingdom’s direction.
September 28, 2018: Over a year after the Post published his first column, Khashoggi visits the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, seeking documents in order to get married. He’s later told to return October 2, his fiancee Hatice Cengiz says. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a plan or a ‘road map’ to kill Khashoggi was devised in Saudi Arabia during this time.
September 29: Khashoggi travels to London and speaks at a conference.
October 1: Khashoggi returns to Istanbul. At around 4.30pm, a three-person Saudi team arrives in Istanbul on a scheduled flight, checks in to their hotels then visits the consulate, according to Erdogan. The Turkish president says another group of officials from the consulate travel to a forest in Istanbul’s outskirts and to the nearby city of Yalova on a ‘reconnaissance’ trip.
Jamal Khashoggi (right) arriving at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2
THE DAY OF HIS DISAPPEARANCE
3.28am, October 2: A private jet arrives at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport carrying some members of what Turkish media will refer to as a 15-member Saudi ‘assassination squad.’ Other members of the team arrive by two commercial flights in the afternoon. Erdogan says the team includes Saudi security and intelligence officials and a forensics expert. They meet at the Saudi Consulate. One of the first things they do is to dismantle a hard disk connected to the consulate’s camera system, the president says.
11.50am: Khashoggi is called to confirm his appointment at the consulate later that day, Erdogan says.
1.14pm: Surveillance footage later leaked to Turkish media shows Khashoggi walking into the main entrance of the Saudi Consulate. No footage made public ever shows him leaving. His fiancee waits outside, pacing for hours.
3.07pm: Surveillance footage shows vehicles with diplomatic license plates leaving the Saudi Consulate for the consul general’s home some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away.
5.50pm: Khashoggi’s fiancee alerts authorities, saying he may have been forcibly detained inside the consulate or that something bad may have happened to him, according to Erdogan.
7pm: A private plane from Saudi Arabia carries six members of the alleged Saudi squad from Istanbul to Cairo, the next day returning to Riyadh.
11pm: Seven members of the alleged Saudi squad leave on another private jet to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which the next day returns to Riyadh. Two others leave by commercial flights.
Erdogan confirms reports that a ‘body double’ – a man wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, glasses and a beard – leaves the consulate building for Riyadh with another person on a scheduled flight later that day.
CCTV images showed a a private jet alleged to have been used by a group of Saudi men suspected of being involved in Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death
October 3: Khashoggi’s fiancee and the Post go public with his disappearance. Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi visited the consulate and exited shortly thereafter. Turkish officials suggest Khashoggi might still be in the consulate. Prince Mohammed tells Bloomberg: ‘We have nothing to hide.’
October 4: Saudi Arabia says on its state-run news agency that the consulate is carrying out ‘follow-up procedures and coordination with the Turkish local authorities to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building.’
October 5: The Post prints a blank column in its newspaper in solidarity with Khashoggi, headlined: ‘A missing voice.’
October 6: The Post, citing anonymous Turkish officials, reports Khashoggi may have been killed in the consulate in a ‘preplanned murder’ by a Saudi team.
October 7: A friend of Khashoggi tells the AP that officials told him the writer was killed at the consulate. The consulate rejects what it calls ‘baseless allegations.’
October 8: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Turkey is summoned over Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged killing.
October 9: Turkey says it will search the Saudi Consulate as a picture of Khashoggi walking into the diplomatic post surfaces.
October 10: Surveillance footage is leaked of Khashoggi and the alleged Saudi squad that killed him. Khashoggi’s fiancee asks President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump for help.
October 11: Turkish media describes Saudi squad as including royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert. Trump calls Khashoggi’s disappearance a ‘bad situation’ and promises to get to the bottom of it.
October 12: Trump again pledges to find out what happened to Khashoggi.
October 13: A pro-government newspaper reports that Turkish officials have an audio recording of Khashoggi’s alleged killing from his Apple Watch, but details in the report come into question.
October 14: Trump says that ‘we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment’ if Saudi Arabia is involved. The kingdom responds with a blistering attack against those who threaten it, as the manager of a Saudi-owned satellite news channel suggests the country could retaliate through its oil exports. The Saudi stock exchange plunges as much as 7 percent at one point.
Khashoggi (pictured), went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul
October 15: A Turkish forensics team enters and searches the Saudi Consulate, an extraordinary development as such diplomatic posts are considered sovereign soil. Trump suggests after a call with Saudi King Salman that ‘rogue killers’ could be responsible for Khashoggi’s alleged slaying. Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to the Mideast over the case. Meanwhile, business leaders say they won’t attend an economic summit in the kingdom that’s the brainchild of Prince Mohammed.
October 16: A high-level Turkish official tells the AP that ‘certain evidence’ was found in the Saudi Consulate proving Khashoggi was killed there. Pompeo arrives for meetings in Saudi Arabia with King Salman and Prince Mohammed. Meanwhile, Trump compares the case to the appointment of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing, saying: ‘Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent.’
October 17: Pompeo meets with Turkey’s president and foreign minister in the Turkish capital, Ankara. Turkish police search the official residence of Saudi Arabia’s consul general in Istanbul and conduct a second sweep of the consulate.
October 18: A leaked surveillance photograph shows a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage walked into the consulate just before Khashoggi vanished there.
October 20: Saudi Arabia for the first time acknowledges Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, claiming he was slain in a ‘fistfight.’ The claim draws immediate skepticism from the kingdom’s Western allies, particularly in the U.S. Congress.
October 22: A report says a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage made four calls to the royal’s office around the time Khashoggi was killed. Police search a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate parked at an underground garage in Istanbul.
CCTV emerges showing a Saudi intelligence officer dressed in a fake beard and Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes and glasses on the day he went missing.
October 23: Erdogan says Saudi officials murdered Khashoggi after plotting his death for days, demanding that Saudi Arabia reveal the identities of all involved.
October 25: Changing their story again, Saudi prosecutors say Khashoggi’s killing was a premeditated crime.
November 2: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government. Earlier the same day, Yasin Aktay, a ruling party adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he believed the body had to have been dissolved in acid.
November 4: Khashoggi’s sons Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi issue appeal for his remains to be returned so that he may be buried in Saudi Arabia.
November 10: President Erdogan says Turkey gave the audio recordings linked to the murder to ‘Saudi Arabia, to Washington, to the Germans, to the French, to the British’.
November 13: Turkish media reports that the luggage carried by the Saudi ‘hit squad’ included scissors, defibrillators and syringes that may have been used against Khashoggi.
November 15: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announces that he is seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder. Shalaan al-Shalaan said the person who had ordered the killing was the head of the negotiating team sent to repatriate him, and exonerated Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. On the same day, the U.S. Treasury announces sanctions against 17 Saudi officials, including the Consul General in Turkey, Mohammed Alotaibi.
November 16: A CIA assessment reported in the Washington Post finds that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination.
November 18: Germany bans 18 Saudi nationals believed to be connected to the murder from entering Europe’s border-free Schengen zone. Berlin also announces it has as halted previously approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid the fallout.