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Trump 'does not want to listen' to Khashoggi tape

US President Donald Trump said he has been briefed on the tape [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2018

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US President Donald Trump has said that he does not want to listen to the 'violent' and 'vicious' recording of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

US President Donald Trump said he has been fully briefed on an audio recording of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder but does not want to listen to it himself.

Turkey obtained the recording of Khashoggi's last moments and reportedly has a second, longer recording of the journalists grisly killing.

"Because it's a suffering tape. It's a terrible tape," he said in an interview with Fox News Sunday that was conducted on Friday. "It was very violent, very vicious and terrible.

The president's remarks come a day after the State Department played down claims that the CIA had concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the order to kill Khashoggi.

"Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Saturday.

"There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts," she said. 

"In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi". 

The Washington Post, which broke the CIA story, said the intelligence agency found that 15 Saudi agents flew on government aircraft to Istanbul and assassinated Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate.

Khashoggi, a Post columnist, had gone to the consulate to obtain documents necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Saudi Arabia - which quickly dismissed the reported CIA findings - has repeatedly changed its official narrative of the 2 October murder.

At first Riyadh denied any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts and later saying he was killed when an argument degenerated into a fistfight.

In the latest version presented by the Saudi prosecutor on Thursday, a 15-member squad was formed to bring Khashoggi back from Istanbul "by means of persuasion" - but instead ended up killing the journalist and dismembering his body in a "rogue" operation.

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