While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was criticized for his warm embrace of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in front of the cameras on Wednesday, Pompeo’s message to the crown prince in private took on a more harsh tone, CNN reported.
According to a source familiar with the meeting who spoke to CNN, the discussion between the two was not friendly. Pompeo reportedly warned bin Salman that he would have to “own” what happened to Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi and that “every fact is going to get out.”
He also reportedly told bin Salman the investigation needed to wrap up quickly and those involved would have to be dealt with posthaste. If that doesn’t happen, Pompeo warned, “the U.S. will have to deal with this” because “the world will demand it” and President “Trump’s hand will be forced by the global pressure,” the source told CNN.
Pompeo’s private tone is the strongest stance seen taken by the Trump administration since Khashoggi disappeared and Turkish officials claimed they had evidence that the journalist was murdered by Saudi officials. Both publicly and privately, Trump has expressed concern over the situation, but hasn’t hidden his interest in maintaining a good rapport with the kingdom.