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>> The CIA believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That's according to Reuters sources on Friday, who said the CIA had briefed other parts of the US government on its assessment, including Congress. The report contradicts the Saudi government's claims that the Crown Prince was not involved in the killing.
The CIA's finding was first reported by the Washington Post, who said US government officials have high confidence in the assessment. It's the most definitive US intelligence findings yet, linking the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia to Khashoggi's assassination. And it complicates President Donald Trump's efforts to maintain ties to one of America's closest Middle East allies.
Both the White House and the State Department declined to comment. And a statement from the Saudi Embassy in Washington called the claims in the assessment false. Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd. He was a staunch critic of the Saudi government and a columnist for the Washington Post.
Saudi officials have said, that if team of 15 Saudi nationals was sent to confront him at the consulate and that he was killed by accident while the group tried to force him to return to the Kingdom. Turkish official say, the killing was deliberate and have been pressuring the Saudi's to extradite those responsible to stand trial in Turkey.
On Friday, a symbolic funeral was held for Khashoggi in Istanbul. Friends gathered to pay tribute to the murdered journalist, who's remains more than a month after his death are still missing.