Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, asked about media reports that the CIA believes the crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said such claims “have no basis in truth and we totally reject them.”
"We in the kingdom know that such allegations about the crown prince have no basis in truth and we categorically reject them," Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir was quoted as saying in Saudi-owned Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper.
Al Jubeir was also asked about comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that the kill order came from the highest level of the Saudi leadership but probably not King Salman, which has put the spotlight instead on the 33-year-old crown prince.
In an interview published on Tuesday, Adel Al Jubeir said "We have already asked the Turkish authorities at the highest level about the meaning of these comments, and they confirmed to us categorically that the crown prince is not meant by these comments,"
Adding "The leadership of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (the king) and the crown prince, is a red line, and we will not permit attempts to harm or undermine them,"
The comments by the Saudi minister are the first official comments on the leaked CIA report, "They are leaks that have not been officially announced, and I have noticed that they are based on an assessment, not conclusive evidence," he added.
The leaks revealed that the CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
Before leaving for California on Saturday morning to tour an area ravaged by wildfires, Trump told reporters that the CIA had not briefed the White House yet. But he added that he was planning to speak with them during the flight. "As of this moment, we were told that he did not play a role, we're gonna have to find out what they say," Trump said.
Khashoggi was killed on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he walked in reportedly to obtain documents for his marriage. Turkey said it had audio recordings of his brutal death and gave them to Saudi Arabia, Britain, the US, Germany and France.
Al Jubeir insisted that Saudi Arabia had not received them.