Speed Reads

khashoggi update

Biden set to declassify report blaming Saudi Crown Prince for Khashoggi killing

The U.S. is reportedly preparing to publicly pin the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist who criticized the crown while writing for The Washington Post, was killed and dismembered in 2018 after entering Turkey's Saudi consulate. The crown prince had been suspected of ordering the killing, and U.S. intelligence will affirm that in a declassified report released Thursday, sources tell Reuters.

The report is not new, and is largely based on CIA intelligence gathered in 2018, U.S. officials tell NBC News. But its release is sure to be controversial as Biden prepares to have his first talks with Saudi rulers.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was recently asked if President Biden would soon talk to bin Salman, but she said he would only speak with King Salman soon, as he was Biden's counterpart. Psaki also confirmed Wednesday the report on Khashoggi's killing was being prepared for public release, while Biden later said he had read it. Other U.S. officials have been in contact with Saudi officials since the beginning of Biden's term, Psaki said.

Saudi Arabia at first denied having a part in Khashoggi's murder, but later said a rogue team accidentally killed Khashoggi as they tried to extradite him.