White House press secretary Jen Psaki continues handling the Biden administration’s refusal to penalize Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, asserting that “we need to continue to work” with Riyadh.
“We are going to hold them accountable. We are going to take steps. We are not going to hold back on making clear where actions are unacceptable, where there needs to be a change and reforms put in place, while also recognizing that there are areas we need to continue to work together on because they’re in the interest of the United States and our own security,” Psaki claimed at a briefing Monday afternoon.
Saying that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was responsible for the horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi is not holding him accountable. The Biden Administration needs to do much more. No meetings with senior US officials and no visits to the US would be a good start.— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) February 28, 2021
Following bin Salman’s order, Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered with a bone saw by a hit squad in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a columnist, reported in November 2018 that the CIA had concluded that bin Salman personally ordered his killing.
‘The crown prince himself’
Details implicating MBS in the gruesome murder were released not long after the Saudi operation but just recently acknowleged by the US intelligence services.
“This is a crucial step because it structurally addresses an unacceptable pattern of targeting, monitoring, harassment and threats to dissidents and journalists,” Psaki told reporters. “Our national security team believes this going after the network responsible for these actions is the best way to prevent a crime like this from ever happening again.”
“The Money Is Too Good to Pass Up”: Wall Street Isn’t Letting Jamal Khashoggi’s Killing Get in the Way of Saudi Business | Vanity Fair https://t.co/KebsBE0pCn— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) March 1, 2021
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said in a statement Friday that the Biden administration should hold “the crown prince himself” accountable.
"The Biden administration should explore ways to ensure the repercussions for the brutal murder of Mr. Khashoggi go beyond those who carried it out, to the one who ordered it — the Crown Prince himself,” said the California Democrat. “He has blood on his hands and that blood belonged to an American resident and journalist. The president should not meet with the crown prince, or talk with him, and the administration should consider sanctions on assets in the Saudi Public Investment Fund he controls that have any link to the crime.”
Trump, Kushner, Pompeo & Mnuchin covered up Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.— anyone_want_chips (@anyonewantchips) March 1, 2021
Khashoggi’s killing tarnished the prince's international image although then-US President Donald Trump threw his full support behind him.
Riyadh initially claimed Khashoggi left the consulate on the same day, but later admitted that he was killed, blaming the murder on a “rogue” group.
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