Saudis Weigh Using Intel Official As Scapegoat For Khashoggi Disappearance

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis News

A high-level adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may be blamed for the disappearance and alleged murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, The New York Times reported.

According to three people with knowledge of the plans who spoke to the Times, Saudi officials are planning to point Saudi General Ahmed al-Assiri as the perpetrator who was “seeking to prove himself,” in the Times words. The White House has reportedly already been briefed on the matter, according to the Times.

The move comes after weeks of Saudi denials of involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, whom Turkish officials claim was murdered by Saudi officials in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. Turkey claims it has video and audio evidence to back up those allegations.

While the Times reported that Trump has been privately distancing himself from the crown prince in recent days, he has remained publicly committed to maintaining an arms deal between the two nations and has floated the idea that “rogue killers” may be responsible for the alleged murder.

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