Washington DC [USA]: United States President Donald Trump stated that he did not listen to the tapes of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi which were sent by Turkish administration. In an exclusive Fox News interview with Chris Wallace, Trump said that he himself did not listen to the tapes but was fully briefed on it.
Terming the tapes as the “suffering tapes”, Trump said, “Because it’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape,” Trump said. “I’ve been fully briefed on it, there’s no reason for me to hear it, in fact, I said to the people ‘should I?’ They said, ‘you really shouldn’t, there’s no reason.’ I know exactly — I know everything that went on in the tape without having to hear it.” he added. When asked if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lied about his involvement in his Khashoggi’s killing to him, Trump said that he is unaware if he has been lied to.
Reiterating the fact that Saudi Arabia has been a long time strategic partner for the United States of America, Trump said, “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.” Meanwhile, investigation in the murder of Khashoggi is underway and Trump on Sunday said that an intelligence report on the murder of the Saudi journalist would be out “over the next two days.”
US officials believe and have repeatedly stated that there was Saudi Crown Prince’s hand behind the murder of The Washington Post columnist. The Trump administration also recently slapped sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals, for their alleged involvement in Khashoggi’s killing. On October 2, Khashoggi was reported missing after he stepped into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to collect paperwork that would allow him to get married to his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who later said that he never appeared from the building.
After days of denial, Saudi Arabia later confirmed its role in Khashoggi’s killing, after facing massive pressure from Turkey over their investigations on the issue. Investigations into the Khashoggi’s death continue both at Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as the journalist’s body is yet to be traced. Khashoggi, who relocated to the US from Saudi Arabia last year, used to write articles for The Washington Post criticising the Saudi government.