Saudi king makes no mention of Khashoggi in first major speech since killing

Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Monday made no mention of Jamal Khashoggi in his first major speech since the U.S.-based journalist was killed in Istanbul last month.

The Associated Press reported that the king gave his annual policy speech, focusing on the civil war in neighboring Yemen, the oil market and the economy. He also offered praise for his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who several U.S. lawmakers have accused of orchestrating the plot to kill Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post.

“The country is working tirelessly to create more jobs and training for Saudi youth,” the king said. “The crown prince, chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, has focused on developing human capabilities and preparing the new generation for future jobs.”


Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia's leaders, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

The CIA has reportedly concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing, and several U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed confidence that the leader was involved in the incident at some level.

The crown prince, who is considered the day-to-day leader of Saudi Arabia, has denied involvement in Khashoggi's death, though the country has provided changing explanations for what happened to the journalist.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE has largely pointed to the crown prince's denials and expressed reluctance to significantly alter the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a result of Khashoggi's murder. In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," he declined to say whether the crown prince may have lied about his possible role in the killing.

"I don’t know, you know, who could really know?" Trump said. "But I can say this, he’s got many people now that say he had no knowledge."

The Trump administration recently sanctioned 17 Saudis for their alleged roles in Khashoggi's death and revoked U.S. visas for some officials deemed responsible for the incident.