However, the coverup does seem to have one U.S. proponent: Donald Trump, who has eagerly courted the Saudi monarchy throughout his presidency and remains reluctant to impose pressure in response to the scandal, lest it jeopardise arms deals. The list included "security and privacy researchers, surveillance specialists, policy academics and journalists", a number of which were involved in the Tor project.
Saturday's comments are the first admission by the Saudi government that Khashoggi died. He continued by saying that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed fully support Saudi judicial institutions that aim to prevent harm to the Kingdom or its citizens, wherever they may be. They also contradicted assertions in Turkish media leaks that Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered inside the consulate, claims the kingdom had rejected as "baseless". "I've seen no transcript".
Media reports said Pompeo heard the recording earlier in the week when he visited Turkey.
Earlier Friday, Turkish police said they questioned employees of the Saudi consulate in their ongoing investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance.
Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with his death and two top aides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as three other intelligence agents, have been sacked.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally who has nonetheless been outspoken about Khashoggi's death, doubted the credibility of the Saudi authorities, which insisted for weeks that he left the consulate.
The Times reported Saudi operatives began a social media campaign to harass critics in 2010.
Rights group Amnesty International's senior crisis adviser, Rawya Rageh, described the official explanation of Khashoggi's death as being as "far away as possible from transparency" and called for "a neutral and independent investigation" by the United Nations.
According to the Saudi version of events, Khashoggi's death was an accident, a result of a discussion that went awry. Give Jamal back to us. "So that was the objective of the visit".
"The United States must not be complicit in this cover-up". But it remains unclear where the journalist's body is. On Thursday, a leaked surveillance photo put Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a member of Prince Mohammed's entourage on trips to the U.S., France and Spain this year, at the consulate just ahead of Khashoggi's arrival. Kushner has also stressed the importance of keeping a strong rapport with the Saudis. Bob Corker (Tenn.), is the belief that the crown prince can salvage Kushner's stalled peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians.
"There were no orders for them to kill him or even specifically kidnap him", said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The league expressed deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the Saudi journalist and reaffirmed its statement issued on 14 February on the refusal to politicize or exploit this issue by any party, including for the objective of threatening economic sanctions or unilateral measures in any form against Saudi Arabia, which remains a key pillar of security and stability at the regional and global levels", the statement added.
He said: "I think it's a very important first step and it happened sooner than people thought it would happen". But he noted that "if the administration is reluctant to come out and quickly condemn, you create a vacuum where Congress will want to fill that vacuum".
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