Reporting by Andres Triay, Andrew Bast and Pat MiltonCBS NEWS|AIWA! NO!|A former high level U.S. intelligence official tells CBS News that the Turkish government has told the U.S. that they have audio and video tapes of the interrogation of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, which Turkey believes involved Khashoggi’s murder.
The Saudi government is denying that Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the consulate, which Turkey contends occurred with the knowledge of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi had been critical of the prince.
Turkey claims that these audio and video tapes offer proof that Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered by Saudi agents. U.S. sources tell CBS News that this plan appears to have been a rendition gone bad, and that the Saudis were initially intending to take Khashoggi into custody and bring him to Saudi Arabia.
The Senate has asked President Trump to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance under the, which allows the president decide whether to sanction any persons involved.
In a radio interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt on Friday, National Security Adviser John Bolton said that he and White House adviser Jared Kushner had spoken to the crown prince. According to Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to bin Salman as well. “It is something we need to get resolved,” Bolton said. “And we need to do it as soon as possible.”
The president has indicated in recent that he does not want to cease weapons deals with Saudi Arabia, which is a major recipient of U.S. weapons sales.