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Pompeo says CIA still investigating killing of Khashoggi

Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State defended the Trump administration's handling of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday, focusing on Saudi Arabia's importance as a U.S. ally against Iran.

Pompeo said his declaration that there was no direct proof connecting Saudi Crown Prince to the Oct. 2 murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in spite of a CIA evaluation it was likely he ordered the killing.

 

CIA Director Gina Haspel was because of brief leaders of the House of Representatives behind closed doors on Wednesday about the killing. She has just advised some U.S. senators. Asked during a Fox News interview about the CIA's findings, made with medium to high confidence, Pompeo stated, without giving details: "Some of the reporting that you've seen on that has been inaccurate."

Pompeo pointed to the sanctions and said the United States would continue to hold accountable those proven to have been involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist.

"They're still working on this. This is as yet a developing set of actualities as for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," he said. "The immediate proof -  this is what I've said before - isn't yet available."

The murdering of journalist Khashoggi sent shockwaves around the globe and has drawn shock from lawmakers in the U.S. Congress, including President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans. Some of them have urged harsher action against Saudi Arabia.

The US imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials a month ago for their role in the killing, holding back before activity that may influence worthwhile U.S.  arms deals with Saudi Arabia that Trump has vowed to preserve.

Pompeo pointed to the sanctions and said the United States would continue to hold accountable those proven to have been involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist.

Riyadh at first denied any knowledge of  Khashoggi's vanishing in the wake of entering the consulate, at that point offered opposing clarifications, including that he was murdered in a rogue operation.

Trump condemned the murder yet has remained by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, regardless of the CIA assessment.

"He's the pioneer of Saudi Arabia. They've been a decent partner," Trump told Reuters on Tuesday in an Oval Office meet. 

Pompeo was scheduled to attend a United Nations meeting to discuss Iran later on Wednesday.

"No one underestimates how horrible this murder was. But remember, Iran is running rampant throughout the Middle East," he told Fox. "The death of any one individual is awful. The death of hundreds of thousands of people in Europe or the Middle East or the United States matters an awful lot."

Nikki Haley, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told NBC News earlier that the administration needed to figure out a path forward with the Saudis.

"We need to have a serious, hard talk with the Saudis to let them know we won't condone this, we won't give you a pass and don't do this again," she said. "And then I think that the administration has to talk about where we go from here."

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