Uber CEO backtracks after calling Khashoggi death 'a mistake'

Uber CEO backtracks after calling Khashoggi death 'a mistake'
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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi backtracked on Sunday after he told "Axios on HBO" that the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was a "mistake."

"It's a serious mistake. [But] you know, we've made mistakes, too," Khosrowshahi, referring to the murder of Khashoggi, said in an interview aired Sunday evening. "People make mistakes, it doesn't mean they can never be forgiven. I think they've taken it seriously."

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Khosrowshahi made the remark while being pressed by an Axios journalist on his thoughts on Khashoggi's death, which has been blamed by the CIA on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who allegedly ordered the killing.

"The CIA ... suggested that the crown prince [Mohammed Bin Salman] had a role in ordering the assassination," the Axios journalist said.

"I didn't read that part of the CIA report," Khosrowshahi responded.

Saudi Arabia's royal family remains the fifth-largest shareholder of Uber and has faced international criticism since Khashoggi's death last October, which reportedly occurred at the Saudi Consulate in Ankara, Turkey.

According to Axios, Khosrowshahi later sought to walk back his comments in a phone call Sunday evening.

During the phone call, Khosrowshahi reportedly expressed regret for that remark, telling Axios, "I said something in the moment that I do not believe. When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused."

The Trump administration faced criticism after the journalist's death for signaling that the Saudi government would not face major consequences over the alleged assassination.