The Saudi Arabian government keeps offering new versions of how Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi died while inside its consulate, each time aimed at shielding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from responsibility – but no one is buying it. Now the story has taken yet another ugly turn, thanks to a new report claiming that the Crown Prince himself spoke with Khashoggi by phone just moments before he was murdered.
The Jamal Khashoggi storyline has taken so many twists and conflicting turns, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt, even when it comes from major news outlets. That said, Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak has been leading the way on Khashoggi coverage thus far. Now it’s reporting that while Saudi officials were detaining Khashoggi inside the consulate, the Crown Prince called him on the phone and asked him to move back to Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi refused the request, the story goes, and so the phone call ended, and then the Crown Prince’s henchmen murdered Khashoggi. The Turkish government says it has audio recordings of Khashoggi’s murder, and the Washington Post says that the CIA has heard those recordings.
If there is indeed audio surveillance of the Crown Prince having spoken with Khashoggi just before his murder, it would be impossible for the Saudi Arabian government to stick with the claim that the Crown Prince wasn’t responsible for the murder. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has begun trying to distract everyone from the fact that he’s a puppet of the Crown Prince, by leaking his frustration with the fact that his son-in-law Jared Kushner is even more of a puppet of the Crown Prince.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report