CIA Director Gina Haspel has reportedly listened to the audio recording of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged interrogation, torture and murder, The Post reported.
Khashoggi reportedly recorded the audio himself on his Apple Watch, according to the Associated Press, when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he was last seen at the beginning of this month. There were mixed reports about whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listened to the recording when he met with Saudi and Turkish officials last week, but the State Department denied the reports.
A person familiar with the recording who spoke to the Post called the audio “compelling” and said it would likely further pressure U.S. officials to respond forcefully against the Saudis for Khashoggi’s death. Saudi officials initially issued blanket denials of their involvement in the writer’s disappearance and alleged murder, but have since backtracked, admitting Khashoggi was killed by “rogue” agents in a fist fight.
In recent days, Trump has struck a more harsh tone with Saudi Arabia after his initial lukewarm response to the alleged murder, publicly voicing his interest in maintaining an arms deal with the kingdom.