Turkey’s Erdoğan claims US received recordings of Khashoggi killing

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that Turkey has given recordings related to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder to the U.S., among other countries, according to multiple reports.

Reuters reported Saturday that Erdoğan claimed Turkey also shared recordings of Khashoggi’s killing with Saudi Arabia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

“We gave the recordings, we gave them to Saudi Arabia, we gave them to Washington, to the Germans, to the French, to the English,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech Saturday, according to the BBC.

No country specified by Turkey has acknowledged hearing the recording.

Erdoğan’s claims come in contrast to previous claims by the State Department, which denied last month that Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Pentagon’s No. 3 resigns | Pompeo presses Beijing on South China Sea | North Korea ‘wasn’t ready’ for talks, Haley says Pompeo presses Beijing on South China Sea policies Haley: North Korea postponed talks with US because ‘they weren’t ready’ MORE heard such recordings or saw related transcripts after he held emergency meetings with Saudi Arabia and Turkey in October.

A senior Turkish official also denied such reports, Reuters noted.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of Saudi leadership, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

The Saudis have offered varying explanations for what happened, first denying knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts and later claiming he was killed in a “fight” gone wrong. A top Saudi official indicated late last month that the killing was “premeditated.”

U.S. lawmakers and Erdoğan have been outspoken in their claims that the Saudi crown prince and other top Saudi leaders likely played a role in ordering Khashoggi’s killing. 

Erdoğan previously said orders to kill Khashoggi “came from the highest levels of the Saudi government.”

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denied any foreknowledge of the attack.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.

— Updated 7:45 a.m.

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