The death of Jamal Khashoggi, the writer and activist who was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey last month, came at the directive of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the CIA has determined according to a report out Friday.
The agency’s conclusion came as a result of “an understanding of how Saudi Arabia works,” rather than a “smoking gun,” a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told The Wall Street Journal.
Khashoggi’s death “would not and could not have happened” if MBS was not connected, an official told the outlet.
The CIA did not offer a comment on the story when contacted by Fox News. The story was first reported by The Washington Post.
Separately, a government official told Fox News that the Khashoggi assessment is not a public document, and is not aware of plans to make it public. The official said the intelligence has been briefed at very senior levels.
The revelation comes a day after Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir insisted that the crown prince did not play a role in the Washington Post columnist’s death.
“Absolutely, his royal highness the crown prince has nothing to do with this issue,” he told reporters.
MBS has also “denied any knowledge” of the circumstances that led to Khashoggi’s disappearance, President Trump said.