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Dem Rep.: Kushner May Have Orchestrated Khashoggi Assassination

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner during a dinner to honor evangelical leadership in the State Dining Room at the White House, August 27, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Representative Joaquin Castro (D., Texas) claimed without evidence Friday that White House adviser Jared Kushner may have prompted the Saudi government to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi by including his name on an “enemies list” provided to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

During an appearance on CNN, Castro cited “reporting that Jared Kushner may have, with U.S. intelligence, delivered a hit list, an enemies list, to the crown prince, to MBS, in Saudi Arabia and that the prince may have acted on that, and one of the people he took action against is Mr. Khashoggi.”

Anchor Poppy Harlow pushed back, pointing out that CNN had not obtained any information corroborating Castro’s claim.

“I’ve seen reporting to that effect . . . that needs to be investigated,” Castro responded.

Kushner has established close ties to the Saudi crown prince since joining the White House, but there has been no indication that he was in any way involved with Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Khashoggi, a Saudi insider-turned-dissident, entered the country’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and hasn’t been seen since. Turkish officials claim he was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by a team of 15 assassins dispatched to Turkey from Saudi Arabia. Turkish investigators are now searching a wooded area outside Istanbul for Khashoggi’s remains following the revelation that a Saudi vehicle drove to the area after leaving the consulate the day Khashoggi disappeared.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced Friday that his country’s government will release the results of its investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance to the public upon its conclusion.

“Of course, as a result of the investigation so far, Turkey does have some information and evidence,” he said. “We will share them with the world when they become fully clear because the whole world, understandably, wants to know what happened to Khashoggi and how it happened.”

Update 12:40 p.m.: Castro’s office provided the following statement to National Review clarifying his comments:

To be clear, I did not intend to accuse Jared Kusher of orchestrating the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. But based on several press reports, the close relationship between Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman is a source of concern for the US intelligence community and those of us who want a transparent American foreign policy. This is especially problematic given the President and his family’s business enterprises and the possibility that they profit from these foreign entities. For these reasons, Congress should open an investigation to see whether Jared or any other Administration official shared any U.S. intelligence with the Saudis that led to any political persecution, including the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

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