The CIA believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday, complicating President Donald Trump’s efforts to preserve ties with a key U.S. ally.
The sources said the CIA had briefed other parts of the U.S. government, including Congress, on its assessment, which contradicts Saudi government assertions that Prince Mohammed was not involved.
The CIA’s finding, first reported by the Washington Post, is the most definitive U.S. assessment to date tying Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler directly to the killing.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington rejected the CIA assessment.
“The claims in this purported assessment is false,” a spokeswoman for the embassy said in a statement. “We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.”