CIA Director Gina Haspel traveling to Turkey for Khashoggi investigation, source says

CIA Director Gina Haspel is traveling to Turkey to address the investigation into the death of journalist Ja...

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 6:47 AM
Updated: Oct 23, 2018 6:47 AM

CIA Director Gina Haspel is traveling to Turkey to address the investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a source familiar with her plans.

Haspel's travel plans come following new skepticism from President Donald Trump about the investigation results from Saudi officials Friday that Khashoggi was killed in an argument turned fistfight at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

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"I am not satisfied with what I heard," Trump told reporters at the White House Monday afternoon.

Trump added that "there's no reason for" the one-month timeline outlined by Saudi intelligence for the full report on Khashoggi's death, which he saw as an unnecessarily long period.

Trump implied that he would have more information on Khashoggi in the next day or so from officials returning from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

"We have tremendously talented people that do this very well," Trump said. "They're coming back tonight and tomorrow and I will know very soon."

The CIA did not respond to requests for comment on Haspel's travel plans.

Reuters was first to report that Haspel would go to Turkey.

Trump's reaction to the Saudis' proffered explanation has changed from his initial response Friday, when he said he believed Saudi officials' story on Khashoggi's death and praised it as a good "first step."

"I do. I do," Trump said Friday when asked about his confidence in the explanation. "Again, it's early. We haven't finished our review, our investigation. But I think it's a very important first step."

"It's a big first step. It's only a first step, but it's a big first step," he said.

Several Democratic and Republican lawmakers pushed back on the story Friday night, with Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker warning against assuming that the Saudis' "latest story holds water." The Tennessee Republican also stressed that the US must assess Khashoggi's death under the Global Magnitsky Act, which sanctions human rights offenders.

Trump then spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday, and said Monday that he also had spoken with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the matter.

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