Saudi Foreign Minister on Fox News: Kashoggi Murder Was ‘Rogue’ and ‘They Tried to Cover It Up’
During Howard Kurtz‘s Media Buzz on FOX News Channel on Sunday, FNC’s chief political anchor Bret Baier broke news when he exclusively interviewed Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, eliciting several admissions from the Minister as well as even more denials of culpability for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Not to mention a rebuffing of Sen. Rand Paul‘s earlier Fox appearance.
In the first clip, above, Jubeir offered a timeline of their version of events, and said that the killing was a “huge and grave mistake.” He also said there were was an attempt to cover it up, and that they are trying to find Jamal Khashoggi‘s body or remains. He said the shifting story was because the investigation is continuing and even invoked Abu Ghraib.
He put all the blame on the security team. “They told us [Khashoggi] left the consulate, came back to Saudi Arabia, filed a report to that effect,” he said. “The reports we were getting from Turkey did not comport with the that the team has provided to us after they returned to Saudi Arabia.
He said that after the King ordered an investigation, they “discovered there were discrepancies,” and “discovered he was killed in the consulate.”
“We don’t know in details how. We don’t know where the body is,” he said. When Baier asked again specifically about the body, Jubeir said they are “working on this.”
Baier asked him several times if they stand by the story that the crown prince knew nothing about the killing and each time the Minister defended the prince and said he was not aware.
“The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority. There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake would be the attempt to try to cover up,” he said. “That is unacceptable in any government. These things unfortunately happened.”
“This an aberration, this is a mistake, this is a criminal act, and those responsible for it will be punished,” he insisted again.
“The Crown Prince was not aware of this,” he said. “This was an operation that was a rogue operation. This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had. They made the mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it.”
“Unfortunately, a huge and grave mistake was made and I assure them that those responsible will be held accountable for this,” he repeated later in the interview.
The attention turned for a moment to Sen. Rand Paul, who had appeared on Fox News Sunday earlier, and the Foreign Minister bashed Paul for judging from “six thousand miles away” and said the senator’s opinion was based on “emotions”.
In the second clip, below, he also attempts to explain the shifting story and the delay in coming up with their official explanation by saying that investigations are underway.
“We put out the version we had based on the facts that we had at the time,” said Al-Jubeir. “We will continue to put out information as it becomes available.”
Watch the clips above, courtesy of Fox News Channel.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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