US to revoke visas of Saudis implicated in killing of writer

(CBS News) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday that the U.S. would be revoking the visas of Saudi operatives who are accused of killing Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo briefed reporters Tuesday, after meeting with Saudi and Turkish officials in the wake of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He did not specify how many visas the U.S. was revoking.

The secretary of state also told reporters at the State Department that the U.S. has identified some of the people “who we suspect to be responsible” for Khashoggi’s death. Pompeo also said that the State Department is working with the Treasury Department on the applicability of global Magnitsky sanctions to the Saudis responsible. This will not be the last word on the matter, he promised, though he also acknowledged shared strategic interests with the Saudis.

“We’re making very clear that the United States does not tolerate this ruthless action to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said that the Turks have been “very cooperative with us,” although he declined to answer a question about whether any U.S. officials have heard an audio recording of Khashoggi that Turkish officials reportedly have in their possession. “I don’t have anything more to share with you about particular data sets,” the secretary said.

The Trump administration has still taken a wait-and-see approach in determining what to do in light of the Khashoggi situation, even after the Saudis admitted that he died in their consulate, after first insisting that he walked out alive.

On Tuesday afternoon President Trump declared the Khashoggi “cover-up” one of the “worst in the history of cover-ups.” On Monday, Mr. Trump said he isn’t satisfied with what he’s heard from the Saudis. He previously said he would consult with Congress before taking any action. But he has still expressed opposition to halting arms deals with the Saudis, arguing their investment in the economy is crucial for American jobs.

When Pompeo spoke to reporters upon returning from Saudi Arabia last week, he took only two questions and gave few details about his meetings there.

Categories: Associated Press, News, US, World

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