Top Trump Saudi policy official resigns

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Kirsten Fontenrose, a top White House official responsible for U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, resigned Friday evening, according to a New York Times report.

The director for the Persian Gulf region on the National Security Council, Fontenrose had pushed for tough punishment for the Saudi government, according to the Times.

She had been in the kingdom’s capital, discussing a series of sanctions the U.S. imposed on those it found to be responsible for the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

{mosads}Fontenrose reportedly advocated that a top advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saud al-Qahtani, be added to the list of those sanctioned, which he eventually was.

It is not clear why she is leaving the administration.

Two people told the Times that Fontenrose had a dispute with her bosses at the National Security Council.

The National Security Council declined to comment, with a spokesperson saying in an email to The Hill that “NSC does not comment on personnel.”

The CIA has reportedly concluded that bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi, though President Trump has called those reports “premature.”

Trump has said there will be a full report from his administration on the matter on Tuesday.

–This report was updated at 11:47 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump Jamal Khashoggi Saudi Arabia

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