PHOTO: Mike Pompeo Shakes Hands and Greets Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

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https://twitter.com/mizzmaxwellww/status/1052199464553893888

The optics for the United States have been far from stellar.

Trump has suggested without evidence that “rogue killers” could be responsible for Khashoggi’s death despite audio and video recordings of the murder claimed to be in possession of Turkish officials and an evolving cover story being pushed by the Saudis.

The Saudi government is reportedly preparing to announce that Khashoggi, who was interrogated, tortured and murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul October 2, was killed by accident during a botched interrogation.

“Two sources close to the kingdom confirmed to CBS News later on Monday that the Saudi government was planning to admit he was killed, but call it an accident,” Tucker Reals reported on Tuesday.

It won’t be so easy, however, to write off the 15 Saudi operatives lying in wait inside the Saudi Consulate for Khashoggi’s arrival with a bone saw in hand as an accident.

Following his meeting with MBS and other high-ranking Saudi officials, Pompeo “thanked the King for Saudi Arabia’s strong partnership with the United States,” and for “his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.”

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