Trump: ‘FAKE NEWS’ that Pompeo heard tape of Saudi journalist’s death

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President Trump on Friday denied a report that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heard an audio recording of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was never given or shown a Transcript or Video of the Saudi Consulate event. FAKE NEWS!” Trump tweeted.


The president’s comments come one day after ABC News reported Pompeo listened to the recording and was given a transcript of it during meetings this week in Turkey scheduled in response to Khashoggi’s disappearance. 

{mosads}Trump administration officials have repeatedly denied the report, which was based on the account of one senior Turkish official, and the president’s tweet could amplify those denials. 

“Secretary Pompeo has neither heard a tape nor has he seen a transcript related to Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance,” the State Department said in a statement Thursday evening. 

Pompeo himself pointedly dismissed the report, telling journalists traveling with him in Mexico that “I’ve seen no tape … I’ve heard no tape.  I’ve seen no transcript.”

“The network that reported that ought to pull down the headline that says I have,” he added. 

Khashoggi’s disappearance has sparked a diplomatic crisis between the U.S., Turkey and Saudi Arabia. 

Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was intercepted inside the consulate in Istanbul by a team of Saudi agents, then tortured, killed and dismembered. 

Saudi officials have thus far denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, but Trump and his top aides have recently ramped up pressure on the kingdom to come up with an explanation.

Tags Donald Trump Mike Pompeo missing journalist Saudi Arabia secretary of State Trump tweets

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