Turkish security officials have told the United States they have both audio and video recordings that definitively prove missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered last week inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, U.S. and Turkish officials told The Washington Post on Thursday.
Khashoggi, a columnist for the Post and a U.S. resident, went to the consulate on Oct. 2 to get a document he needed for his wedding, and he hasn't been heard from since. One official told the Post that on the audio recording, "you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic," and another said men can be heard beating Khashoggi. After he was killed, Khashoggi was reportedly dismembered. Turkey does not want to release the recordings over fears it would expose how they spy on foreigners in the country, the Post reports.
Saudi Arabia has denied being involved in Khashoggi's disappearance. Prior to his disappearance, the U.S. reportedly intercepted discussions between Saudi officials about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordering an operation to get Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia, where he would be detained. Khashoggi had ties to the royal family, and had been critical of the government, but agreed with some of the crown prince's policies. The crown prince is close to President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, and while Trump on Thursday called the suspected murder "a terrible thing," he quickly added that the U.S. will not stop selling arms to the Saudis, because "that doesn't help us — not when it comes to jobs and not when it comes to our companies losing out on that work." Catherine Garcia