Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman claimed that the journalist allegedly murdered by his regime, Jamal Khashoggi, was a terrorist, according to reports on Thursday.
Khashoggi (shown above), a Saudi Arabian who was a U.S. resident and columnist for The Washington Post, was allegedly killed by Saudi Arabian agents after going missing in October 2018.
But the crown prince instead accused him of being a terrorist while on a call with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton, The Washington Post is reporting.
The call took place just days after the disappearance on October 2, The Post said.
Salman echoed accusations that Khashoggi has refuted for years that he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. A Saudi official denied that such a conversation took place Wednesday.
“Jamal Khashoggi was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Khashoggi’s family said in a statement provided to The Washington Post.
“He denied such claims repeatedly over the past several years. Jamal Khashoggi was not a dangerous person in any way possible. To claim otherwise would be ridiculous.”
The Saudi Arabian government later acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish police sources alleged that he was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate — while the Saudi government claims he left alive.
Pompeo shortly afterward called on Saudi Arabia to support a thorough and transparent investigation into the disappearance.
President Donald Trump was also pulled into the controversy over his business dealings with Saudi Arabia.
He and key aides including Kushner have been building closer ties with the Saudi royal family, most recently with the announcement of a $110 billion military arms deal.
Saudi Arabia has faced increased global pressure in the wake of the incident.
The government was finally forced to admit that the murdered occurred by maintained in a statement last month that he got into Saudi agents operating without the government’s authorization.
They later admitted it was premeditated.
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(Photo credit: MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)