Trump: Reports on CIA Khashoggi assessment ‘premature’


President Trump on Saturday called reports of a CIA assessment concluding that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “premature.”

Speaking to pool reporters in California after touring damage caused by wildfires in the state, the president stated that the CIA had made no such assessment yet and touted the release of the CIA’s report over the next few days.

{mosads}“They haven’t assessed anything yet. It’s too early. That was a very a premature report,” Trump said Saturday when asked about a Washington Post report about the CIA assessment.

“We’re going to have a report on Tuesday. And it’ll be very complete. In the meantime we’re doing things to some people that we know for a fact were involved and we’re being very tough on a lot of people,” he added.

The president’s remarks follow a Washington Post article Friday claiming the CIA intercepted a call from the crown prince’s brother, Khalid bin Salman, urging Khashoggi to enter the Saudi consulate in Turkey, where he reportedly told Khashoggi he would be safe.

Earlier Saturday Trump told reporters that he was expecting a CIA briefing on the latest intelligence on Khashoggi’s disappearance and death from the CIA later in the day.

“We haven’t been briefed yet. The CIA will be speaking to me today,” he said before departing for California. “As of this moment, we were told that he did not play a role, we’re gonna have to find out what they say.”

The Saudi government responded to the Post report Friday, calling it a false assessment of what occurred at the Saudi consulate in Turkey where Khashoggi was last seen.

“The claims in this purported assessment are false. We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations,” a spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in Washington said in a statement Friday.

Tags CIA Donald Trump Donald Trump Jamal Khashoggi disappearance Saudi Arabia Trump administration
See all Hill.TV See all Video