Saudi crown prince's brother returns to US

The Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman, has returned to the U.S. for the first time since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October.

NBC News initially reported Wednesday that the ambassador, who is the brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was in the U.S. to attend the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.

Multiple sources told NBC News that Prince Khalid planned to attend the funeral at Washington National Cathedral, but the outlet reported that he ultimately did not attend the service.


A spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., told NBC News that the kingdom was represented at the funeral by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

The Hill has reached out to the embassy for comment.

Khalid is thought to have had a role in Khashoggi's death in early October. Khalid reportedly assured Khashoggi that he would be safe if he went to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée.

Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents inside the consulate after arriving there on Oct. 2. 

NBC News reported that Khalid arrived Wednesday morning at Dulles International Airport outside D.C. A Saudi official told the outlet that his plane had been delayed and he was "unable to comply with the protocol scheduling" to attend the funeral.

His arrival in the U.S. comes one day after U.S. senators received a classified briefing from CIA Director Gina Haspel about Khashoggi's slaying. Senators emerged from the meeting saying they were certain that the crown prince ordered the killing, something the crown prince has denied.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (R-Tenn.), for example, said he has "zero question" that the crown prince ordered the killing.

“I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through. I have zero question in my mind,” he said. 

--Updated at 2:55 p.m.