Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, the brother of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, returned to the US for the first time since dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, according to a report.
Khalid bin Salman flew back to Riyadh shortly after Khashoggi was killed at the consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 as criticism mounted against the kingdom for initially denying anything had happened to the writer.
He parroted the line from his ruling family’s government that Khashoggi, whose articles for the Washington Post were critical of the crown prince, left the consulate unharmed.
Prince Khalid’s plane touched down at Dulles International Airport in Washington on Wednesday about three hours before the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, NBC News reported, citing sources.
The prince had planned to attend the funeral at the Washington National Cathedral, but a spokeswoman at the Saudi embassy said Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir would be representing the kingdom, the Washington Post reported.
President Trump and members of his administration have dismissed the CIA’s conclusion that the crown prince was behind Khashoggi’s killing and have rejected taking action against the country.
But after a briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, senators accused the crown prince of being behind the killing.
“There’s not a smoking gun — there’s a smoking saw,” GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday, referring to reports that the Saudi team that killed Khashoggi used a bone saw to dismember him.
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