Statement Analysis®

Does Mike Pompeo believe the Saudi Crown Prince ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

On October 12, 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox and Friends. During the interview, he was asked about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was the Saudi journalist who was killed on October 2, 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. There is some evidence the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi to be killed because the journalist was speaking out against the Saudi government. The Crown Prince has denied any knowledge of the murder plot. President Trump has stood by the Crown Prince's denial. Brian Kilmeade started the questioning and was then later joined by Ainsley Earhardt.

BK:     "We know the Price knows right? You know. You looked him in the eye. You know that he knows.
MP:     "I have spoken to the king, King Salman. I've spoken to the Crown Prince a number of times since the murder of
            Jamal Khashoggi and it is absolutely America's intent to hold everyone accountable who was responsible for this.

The first thing we see is Secretary Pompeo did not answer the specific question. He gave an answer but he did not answer Kilmeade's question, "We know the Price knows right?" Not answering the specific question absolutely means the Secretary is withholding information.

Secretary Pompeo said that it is "America's intent to hold everyone accountable." People may have great intentions but that does not mean they always fulfill those intentions. Years ago Marv Albert responded to sexual assault charges by saying, "I...intend to vigorously defend myself." In the end, he pled guilty. (I dislike the word "pleaded" which is a favorite of many journalists)

BK:     "So that 'Yes,' when you looked him in the eye and he denied it, did you believe him?
MP:     "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia decides who's running the country. I think this is what the President said yesterday.
           We are working closely with the kingdom to make sure America is protected. That's our interest there.

Again, Secretary Pompeo did not answer the specific question, "Did you believe him?" The information he is probably withholding is that he didn't belivve the Crown Prince's denial. He probably does believe the Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi's murder. Why doesn't the Secretary say he thinks the Crown Prince is behind the murder? Because as he mentioned, our interest is to make sure America is protected.

AE     "The CIA says that they're highly confident that the Saudi Crown Prince did order the murder of Khashoggi."
MP     "Some of the reporting that you've see on that has been inaccurate."
BK     "Is that part of it? Is that inaccurate?"
AE     "That's false?"
MP     "Look, look we all know they're still working on this. This is still a developing set of facts with the respect to the
           murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The intelligence community is working diligently on that. The direct evidence, this is
           what I said before, the direct evidence isn't yet available..."

Secretary Pompeo stated that some of the information reported is inaccurate which is most likely true. However, he did not tell us what information is inaccurate . He did not answer the specific question if the CIA's information that the Crown Prince was involved is inaccurate.

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