White House, Saudis working to make up story on missing journalist’s fate: Brennan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (AFP file photo)

Former CIA Director John Brennan says the United States government is working with Saudi Arabia to “concoct a story” about the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, an anti-Riyadh journalist who is believed to have been murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul earlier this month.

Speaking to MSNBC on Wednesday, Brennan said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the White House of President Donald Trump  knew what happened to Khashoggi.

“It also seems now we’re in this surreal and morally horrific situation in which the White House and the Saudis seem to be trying to sort of figure out what story they can come up with that they can both have plausibility for Mohammad bin Salman,” said Brennan, a firm Trump critic who was director of the CIA under former President Barack Obama.

The former spymaster said Washington and Riyadh might be looking for scapegoats inside Saudi Arabia but no matter what they do to make it look like MBS had nothing to do with the incident, their story “is going to fall apart.”

Brennan also called on the CIA and other US intelligence agencies to hand in their evidence to Congress so that lawmakers could scrutinize the White House over its role in the alleged cover-up.

“That’s why it’s so important for the intelligence agencies, and CIA, to fully brief the intelligence committees on the Hill so that they have full insight into what happened there and they can then hold the administration’s feet to the fire,” he explained.

Khashoggi, who was also a US green card holder, entered the Saudi mission on October 2 in order to obtain the necessary paperwork for marrying his fiancée. That was the last time he was seen.

According to Washington Post, to which Khashoggi was a contributor, US intelligence intercepts already prove that he was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents in a hit job directly ordered by bin Salman.

Turkish officials say they are in possession of audio and video recordings that prove the murder and incriminate Saudi diplomats.

First leaked details of the audio recordings picture a gruesome scene where Khashoggi is tortured, killed and dismembered by a Saudi assassination squad in cold blood.

Trump has so far rejected growing calls inside and outside the US to pressure Riyadh over the issue.

He said Wednesday that he had asked Turkish officials to hand in their evidence. However, the president is probably on Riyadh’s side, as he has already indicated that while he would “punish” the perpetrators of the alleged murder, he would not go as far as risking the current financially profitable ties with Riyadh.

After sending US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo to Turkey and Saudi Arabia this week, Trump said neither Saudi King Salman nor his son, the crown prince, had any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts and that “rogue killers” might have murdered him after all.

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