Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a “tremendous mistake” and part of a rogue operation, adding that his government would punish those responsible for his “murder.”
“The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority,” he told Bret Baier on Sunday. “There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up. That is unacceptable in any government.”
Al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia was taking action to investigate how Khashoggi died and hold those responsible accountable.
“We are determined to uncover every stone. We are determined to find out all the facts. And we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder,” he said.
Al-Jubeir told Fox that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not aware of the operation beforehand. “Even the senior leadership over intelligence service was not aware of this,” al-Jubeir said.
The comments come a day after US President Donald Trump criticized Saudi Arabia’s explanation of Khashoggi’s death as “all over the place” in an interview with the Washington Post. However, the President also praised bin Salman, calling him a “strong person” with “very good control.”
In the Post article published late Saturday, Trump said that “obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” when asked about Saudi Arabia’s account of the killing of Khashoggi inside their Istanbul consulate almost three weeks ago. “Their stories are all over the place,” Trump said.