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9:55, 20 October 2018

Trump, Breaking With U.S. Intelligence, Appears to Accept Saudi Explanation of Journalist’s Death

Trump, Breaking With U.S. Intelligence, Appears to Accept Saudi Explanation of Journalist’s Death

Trump, Breaking With U.S. Intelligence, Appears to Accept Saudi Explanation of Journalist&rsquos Death

Asked throughout a go to on Friday to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona regardless of whether he viewed the Saudi explanation as credible, President Trump stated, &ldquoI do.&rdquoCreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Occasions

By Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt

WASHINGTON &mdash President Trump broke with his personal intelligence agencies on Friday, appearing to accept Saudi Arabia&rsquos explanation that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by accident in the course of a fistfight, although the United States&rsquo spy agencies are increasingly convinced that he was assassinated on high-level orders from the Saudi royal court.

Mr. Trump, who has cultivated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and created Saudi Arabia the linchpin of his Middle East method, has been deeply reluctant to point a finger at the prince, in spite of evidence linking him to Saudi operatives who entered the country&rsquos consulate in Istanbul the identical day that Mr. Khashoggi disappeared there.

Asked for the duration of a go to to an Air Force base in Arizona whether he viewed the Saudi explanation as credible, Mr. Trump mentioned, &ldquoI do.&rdquo

The president stated he nonetheless had questions for Prince Mohammed, and he referred to as the killing of Mr. Khashoggi &ldquounacceptable.&rdquo Mr. Trump also raised the possibility of sanctions against Saudi Arabia, but said that he hoped that Congress would not attempt to block billions of dollars in weapons sales to the kingdom, which he has held up as proof of the fruits of the alliance.

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the prime Democrat on the Property Intelligence Committee, in Could on Capitol Hill. He was among the lawmakers who tarred the explanation by Saudi Arabia as lacking credibility.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Occasions

In an interview on Thursday with The New York Instances, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the furor more than Mr. Khashoggi&rsquos death had mushroomed into a single of the greatest foreign policy crises of his presidency.

&ldquoThis 1 has caught the imagination of the planet, sadly,&rdquo Mr. Trump said. &ldquoIt&rsquos not a constructive. Not a optimistic.&rdquo

The president also mentioned on Thursday that it was nonetheless &ldquoa small bit early&rdquo in the method to draw definitive conclusions about who ordered the killing. But he expressed no doubt that the truth would come out soon.

&ldquoWe&rsquore operating with the intelligence from numerous countries,&rdquo he stated, adding, &ldquoThis is the greatest intelligence we could have.&rdquo

On Wednesday, The Occasions reported that American intelligence officials were increasingly convinced that Prince Mohammed is culpable in Mr. Khashoggi&rsquos death, and that they had been preparing an appraisal for the White Property.

Saudi Arabia tried to project the notion of a housecleaning, announcing that Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide to the crown prince Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence and other higher-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed.

For Mr. Trump, who is on a three-day swing in the West ahead of the midterm elections, the Khashoggi affair has become a distraction for the duration of a period in which he had hoped to campaign for Republican congressional candidates on a message of financial growth and the current confirmation of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Just soon after answering queries about the Saudi announcement, Mr. Trump flew to a &ldquoMake America Wonderful Again&rdquo rally in Mesa, Ariz.

Published at Sat, 20 Oct 2018 03:50:36 +0000

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