Khashoggi described Saudi crown prince as ‘beast’ in private messages: report

Khashoggi described Saudi crown prince as ‘beast’ in private messages: report
© Getty Images

Slain dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi reportedly referred to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a "beast" in his private messages and worried that the leader would eventually oppress his supporters, according to a report published Monday.

CNN obtained hundreds of WhatsApp messages between Khashoggi and activist Omar Abdulaziz in the months before the journalist's death. The messages show Khashoggi expressing concern over the crown prince's tendencies and response to criticism.

"The more victims he eats, the more he wants," Khashoggi wrote in one message sent in May, shortly after a group of Saudi activists had been rounded up. "I will not be surprised if the oppression will reach even those who are cheering him on."


CNN reported that Khashoggi believed his messages with Abdulaziz may have been hacked around August. Abdulaziz filed a lawsuit on Sunday against an Israeli company he believes created software used to hack the messages, according to CNN.

Khashoggi was killed after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. His body has not yet been found.

The former Washington Post columnist was an outspoken critic of Saudi leadership, and his death has been a subject of international outcry.

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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE has drawn criticism from U.S. lawmakers for his decision not to crack down harder on Saudi Arabia, or to hold the crown prince specifically accountable. He has cited the economic relationship between the two countries in not doing so.

The CIA has reportedly concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing, though Trump has pushed back on those news reports, saying the agency did not come to a definitive conclusion.

The Senate last week advanced a resolution that would end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war, seen as a rebuke to Trump after the White House opposed the bill.