State Dept. denies report Pompeo heard recording of Khashoggi's murder

State Dept. denies report Pompeo heard recording of Khashoggi's murder
© Anna Moneymaker

The State Department is denying news reports claiming Turkish officials shared with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe US must do its part in closing the largest outdoor prison in the world Trump rejects Iran's denial about attack on oil tankers, pointing to video Trump rejects Iran's denial about attack on oil tankers, pointing to video MORE an audio recording of Washington Post Jamal Khashoggi's alleged murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a statement Thursday evening reiterating comments made to reporters Wednesday asserting that Pompeo had not heard or read a transcript of the recording minutes after ABC News reported a senior Turkish official claimed that Pompeo had done so.

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"Secretary Pompeo has neither heard a tape nor has he seen a transcript related to Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance," Nauert said following the publication of ABC's report.

Her denial follows a refusal to comment on the existence of such a recording from Pompeo himself on Wednesday when asked by reporters if he had seen evidence linking Saudi Arabia to Khashoggi's disappearance and rumored murder.

"I don’t have anything to say about that," he told reporters.

Pompeo met with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE Thursday to discuss the allegation that Khashoggi, a U.S.-based journalist, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate after meeting with top Saudi and Turkish officials including King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Trump appeared to take a stronger stance against Saudi Arabia on Thursday over Khashoggi's disappearance after previously suggesting that Saudi Arabia was possibly the victim of false allegations.

"It certainly looks that way to me. It's very sad," Trump said Thursday of the likelihood that Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate.

"Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he’s dead," Trump added in an interview with The New York Times. "That’s based on everything — intelligence coming from every side."