Mohammad bin Salman denies ordering Khashoggi murder, but says he takes responsibility for it


By Norah O’Donnell

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman rules Saudi Arabia day-to-day on behalf of his father, the king. The heir to the throne is a man of contradictions. He presents himself as a young, progressive leader, a supporter of women in the workplace and, famously, behind the wheel. But he is also conducting a bloody war in Yemen, stands accused of targeting civilians and children and employing famine as a weapon. He’s rounded up political dissidents and the CIA believes he is behind the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the crown prince.

Turkey arrested two suspects who confessed to spying on Arab nationals for the United Arab Emirates, and is investigating whether the arrival in Turkey of one of them was related to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior Turkish official said on Friday. One of the two men arrived in Turkey in October 2018, days after Khashoggi was murdered inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, the official said, adding the other had arrived later to help his colleague with the workload. “We are investigating whether the primary individual’s arrival in Turkey was related to the Jamal Khashoggi murder,” said the official, adding the person had been monitored for six months before the arrests in Istanbul on Monday. “It is possible that there was an attempt to collect information about Arabs, including political dissidents, living in Turkey.”

Earlier this month, after an Iranian missile and drone attack on Saudi oil facilities, the United States committed additional American troops to help defend the Saudis. It was nearly midnight by the time we spoke with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on Tuesday, at the royal court in Jeddah. There was a lot to ask. Our first question was about the death, a year ago, of Jamal Khashoggi, something the crown prince has never discussed in a television interview.