Netanyahu Tells Trump To Back Saudi Prince After Brutal Khashoggi Murder

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"Jamal Khashoggi was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood".

The United States will hold responsible not only those who carried out the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi but also those who led to it or were connected to it, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters on Thursday.

FILE - Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb walks to board a plane to leave Turkey, in Istanbul, Oct. 31, 2018.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has met with a delegation of pro-Israeli advocates in Riyadh amid reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the USA to keep supporting the young prince against global criticism.

The cutting of aid by Gates Foundation came amidst reports that Crown Prince Salman had disparaged Khashoggi as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in talks with USA officials, after the journalist's murder. Ankara maintains that there is strong proof that the killing of the Saudi journalist at the Saudi consulate on October 2 came as a result of a pre-planned operation by a squad of hitmen rather than a spontaneous fist-fight incident, as claimed by Riyadh. The Saudi attorney general then acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder.

According to The Washington Post, Netanyahu has specifically told the White House that the crown prince is a key strategic partner and a linchpin of the US-Israeli front against Iran's regional influence.

President Trump has said he is "not satisfied" with the Saudi account.

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"The victim's body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation", the statement said. "He denied such claims repeatedly over the past several years", the statement said.

The Saudi crown prince called Jamal Khashoggi a risky Islamist during a phone call with Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton days after the journalist disappeared last month at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, according to a report on Thursday.

He entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul a month ago to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage, but never left.

Fidan, the Istanbul prosecutor, on Wednesday said that Khashoggi was strangled shortly after entering the consulate and that his body was dismembered afterward.

After Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its Istanbul consulate, five high-ranking officials were dismissed, including bin Salman's media chief and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service.

"Jamal Khashoggi was not a risky person in any way possible".

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