Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi with the Saudi royal family.
As he prepared to fly to Turkey to discuss the Khashoggi matter with the Turkish president, Pompeo spoke with reporters and accidentally revealed the true intention of his meeting with the Saudis…or rather what it was not.
Pompeo said the Saudis assured him they would conduct a “complete, transparent investigation” into Khashoggi, and that the Saudis “made a commitment to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing” accountable, including members of the royal family or any “senior officer or official.”
When asked if the Saudis knew if Khashoggi is alive or dead, however, Pompeo said:
“I don’t want to talk about any of the facts. They didn’t want to either.”
Pompeo went on to say that the visit was “incredibly successful in that sense” and that he looks forward to seeing the Saudis’ report.
“We received commitments that they would complete this,” Pompeo added, “and we’re counting on them to do that.”
Watch the full clip below:
Many journalists were appalled at Pompeo’s response because the trip was sold to the public as a fact-finding mission – which clearly was not the case.
“The mission of Pompeo’s trip was to find facts,” tweeted Philip Rucker of WaPo.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said the “entire charade is beyond disgusting.”
Walter Schaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, took it one step further by suggesting Pompeo is part of a cover-up.
The public simply isn’t buying Pompeo’s story. Many feel that President Donald Trump and his administration are willfully obfuscating the truth.
People are understandably concerned that the United States’ hands-off approach may actually make things worse.
Khashoggi is believed to have been tortured and killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this month by 15 Saudi nationals wielding a bone saw.
Evidence the Saudis were involved is mounting, but for the Trump administration, it’s business as usual, as the Saudi royals fiercely deny any involvement.
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Some would be happy to oblige.
That's not how this works.