Pompeo Calls the Release of Intel Report on Khashoggi’s Murder ‘Reckless’ and a ‘Political Stunt’
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the release of the intel report on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder was “reckless’ and a “political stunt.”
The Biden administration released the intel report last week, and the report said rather directly, “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salam approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture of kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”
But President Joe Biden has come under serious criticism for his decision not to sanction MBS directly as a result.
Fox News’ Eric Shawn asked Pompeo — who was at CPAC — for his reaction to the intel report.
Pompeo said the Trump administration “took the murder of Jamal Khashoggi very seriously” before criticizing the release of the report as “reckless” and “political.”
“It was aimed at harming our relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the use of intelligence in a way that, as a former CIA director, I would have never stood for,” Pompeo said. “It was a political stunt.”
Shawn asked Pompeo about how people accused the Trump administration of “covering it up.”
Pompeo denied that and pointed to actions the Trump administration took to hold others accountable for Khashoggi’s murder.
“This administration wants to take this important security partner for the United States of America and make it a foe, and they want to go sit down and cut deals with the Iranians, who have by the way murdered far more people all across the world than the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has during our four years and the eight years before that as well,” Pompeo said.
Donald Trump faced criticism for his administration’s response to the murder of Khashoggi. Bob Woodward reported in his book last year that Trump said of MBS, “I saved his ass.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper recalled that quote on Friday as he questioned how Biden’s position is any different.
You can watch above, via Fox News.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]