Pompeo says Khashoggi killing still being investigated

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo says Mideast strategy will be Trump administration policy 'until our time is complete' Trump administration pulls out of Open Skies treaty with Russia Tibetan political leader makes visit to White House for first time in six decades MORE on Wednesday said that U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing is still being investigated and that the U.S. intends to hold accountable those who are found responsible. 

"The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a tragic incident," Pompeo said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

“It’s not something that America approves of.” 


"We all know they’re still working on this, this is still a developing set of facts with respect to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi," Pompeo added. "The intelligence community is still working on that."

Khashoggi was killed in October at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul. The CIA has reportedly concluded with medium to high confidence that Khashoggi's killing was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Pompeo would not say if he thought the crown prince was involved and emphasized Saudi Arabia as an "important ally" of the U.S., echoing comments made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE and other top administration officials.

He pointed to the sanctions that the U.S. has imposed on 17 Saudis that Pompeo said have been found responsible in the killing.

Pompeo also cast doubt on the intelligence community's assessment, saying, "Some of the reporting that you’ve seen on that has been inaccurate."

"America has an important ally in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Pompeo said. 

"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade pressed the issue further and pointed out that even Trump supporter Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMedia and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Hackers love a bad transition The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump campaign files for Wis. recount l Secretaries of state fume at Trump allegations l Biden angered over transition delay MORE (R-S.C.) spoke out harshly against the crown prince after senators were briefed on the CIA's findings this month.

Graham after the briefing said there is not a "smoking gun" but there is a "smoking saw," a reference to the bone saw the Saudi agents reportedly used to dismember Khashoggi's body.

Pompeo insisted the "direct evidence is not available yet."

The Trump administration has faced pressure from a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers to condemn and penalize the crown prince over the killing, but Trump has declined to do so.

Trump has broken with the CIA over the issue of bin Salman's involvement, saying in a Reuters interview on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has been a "very good ally" while declining to say whether he thought the crown prince was responsible for Khashoggi's slaying.

The Senate is poised to rebuke Trump over Khashoggi on Wednesday by voting in favor of a resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.