THE PLOT THICKENS

Turkey’s Erdogan Says U.S. Heard Khashoggi Recording

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said U.S. authorities have listened to a recording regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Sources in Turkish law enforcement have previously referenced an audio recording that captured the actual killing, though it wasn’t immediately clear if that was what Erdogan was referring to. “We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know,” Erdogan said. The Turkish leader also accused a top Saudi official involved in the investigation of refusing to cooperate and demanded that Saudi authorities identify Khashoggi's killer. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who’d been living in self-imposed exile in Virginia after leaving Saudi Arabia, was killed upon entering the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2. He was fiercely critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who some believe played a role in his murder. Sources cited by the Washington Post late last month said CIA Director Gina Haspel has heard a recording of Khashoggi's killing, and a Turkish source has claimed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also listened to it, though the State Department denies that claim. President Trump had earlier cast doubt on the recording, telling reporters last month that he was “not yet sure that it exists.”