As “shocking and gruesome” new details surrounding Saudi Arabia’s alleged torture and assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi continued to trickle out on Tuesday—with anonymous Turkish officials telling the press that the prominent dissident was beaten, killed by lethal injection, and cut into pieces by the head autopsy doctor of the Saudi defense forces—U.S. President Donald Trump accepted wholesale Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s increasingly implausible claim that he had zero knowledge of what “took place” two weeks ago inside the kingdom’s Turkish consulate.
“These shocking and gruesome details would explain why U.S. intelligence sources told CNN and other American media outlets that they were ‘utterly shocked’ at what the content of the recordings presented to them by the Turkish authorities.”
—Jamal Elshayyal, Al Jazeera
“Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish consulate,” Trump wrote on Twitter after a short phone conversation with the heir to the Saudi throne. “He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly.”
Trump’s tweets came just after Al Jazeera‘s Jamal Elshayyal reported that—contrary to reports the Saudis’ are preparing to float a claim that Khashoggi’s death was the result of a botched interrogation—the journalist was “beaten as soon as he entered the consulate” right in front of the Saudi consul general and was not interrogated.
Citing Turkish officials who reportedly have access to audio recordings, Jamal Elshayyal wrote that Khashoggi was tortured, killed by lethal injection, and dismembered by the Saudi military’s head autopsy doctor, who insisted “that music be played while he cut up the journalist’s body.”
“These shocking and gruesome details would explain why U.S. intelligence sources told CNN and other American media outlets that they were ‘utterly shocked’ at what the content of the recordings presented to them by the Turkish authorities,” Elshayyal observed.
LATEST: Turkish sources reveal details of how @JKhashoggi was murdered. #JamalKjashoggi was beaten as soon as he entered the consulate. He was not interrogated. After being beaten he was killed by lethal injection. This happened in the consul generals office & in front of him!
— Jamal Elshayyal جمال (@JamalsNews) October 16, 2018
Following Turkish investigators’ examination of the Saudi consulate on Monday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that officials are looking into the possible presence of “toxic materials” inside the Saudi consulate and whether those materials were “removed by painting them over.”
These latest revelations from anonymous Turkish officials as well as Turkey’s president come just hours after Pompeo finished an all-smiles meeting with the Saudi crown prince and King Salman, during which—according to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert—the U.S. secretary of state “thanked the King for Saudi Arabia’s strong partnership with the United States” and applauded the murderous regime for vowing to carry out “a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.”
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) October 16, 2018
The Saudi regime’s explanation of what took place in its Turkish consulate two weeks ago has changed dramatically over the past week as new evidence has continued to emerge and as the international community has pressed for a credible investigation.
“The president is willingly and knowingly doing the counter messaging for the Saudi kingdom. He floated the ‘rogue attackers’ theory and [is] now vouching for their transparent denials and vows to investigate.”
—Greg Miller, Washington Post
Initially, the Saudis maintained that Khashoggi left the Turkish consulate alive. Then, when this position become untenable, Trump obediently suggested after a phone call with King Salman that perhaps “rogue killers” flew to Turkey without the knowledge of the regime and murdered Khashoggi.
Meanwhile, CNN and other outlets are reporting that the Saudis are considering releasing a statement admitting that Khashoggi was killed but claiming the murder was the result of an interrogation gone wrong, and that the Saudi leadership had no knowledge of what was taking place.
Every step of the way—as numerous critics have pointed out—Trump has proven to be a willing megaphone for the Saudi regime’s rapidly changing narrative, mindlessly repeating it on Twitter and to reporters as it has changed on a day-to-day basis.
“The president is willingly and knowingly doing the counter messaging for the Saudi kingdom,” noted Washington Post national security reporter Greg Miller in a tweet on Tuesday. “He floated the ‘rogue attackers’ theory and [is] now vouching for their transparent denials and vows to investigate.”
This article originally posted here.