Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday defended the administration’s response to the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and refused to comment on whether or not the intelligence community found Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible.
“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a tragic incident. It was heinous. It is not something America approves of,” he said on Fox News Wednesday morning. “But America has an important ally in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Mr. Pompeo stressed that the administration has slapped sanctions on specific individuals that they have hard evidence against to prove they were involved in the brutal killing.
After being briefed by CIA Director Gina Haspel, several senators have said that the crown prince was behind for Mr. Khashoggi’s death.
Mr. Pompeo stressed that reports on the CIA report were “inaccurate,” and the intelligence community is still looking into the incident.
When pressed on why the White House is standing by the crown prince, the secretary of state refused to comment on whether or not the foreign leader ordered the assassination.
“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia decides who is running the country,” he said. “We are working closely with the kingdom to make sure America is protected.”