CNN's Jake Tapper reports that Jamal Khashoggi's death will be confessed to by Riyadh — a move that would mark a stunning reversal following King Salman's denial that the writer was killed under the watch of Saudi Arabian officials. Tapper cited two anonymous sources, qualifying his announcement by stating the Saudis' report "is still being prepared" and adding that a source "cautioned things could change."
"Report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible," Tapper reports.
An anonymous Turkish official told the New York Times last week that the alleged slaughter was carried out by 15 Saudi operatives flown in to Turkey, and that Khashoggi's body was disposed of with the aid of a doctor toting a bonesaw. Khashoggi's body was reportedly dismembered and smuggled out of the consulate building. These reports have yet to be confirmed publicly by Turkish officials.
Call me crazy, but it seems like if you bring a bone saw to an interrogation, you're kind of expecting things to go south https://t.co/86GEXLmRWx— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) October 15, 2018
Earlier on Monday, US President Donald Trump spoke with Saudi King Salman on the phone. During the call, Salman was "very, very strong" in his denial of knowledge about what happened to Khashoggi, Trump told reporters. The US head of state then floated the idea that the writer was slaughtered by "rogue killers" — a statement that was immediately called out as an alternative theory meant to help Saudi Arabia defend its reputation. "Absolutely extraordinary they were able to enlist the President of the United States as their PR agent," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said Monday.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2018