A Turkish newspaper reported on Thursday that the Central Intelligence Agency has the recording of a phone call made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with an alleged instruction to "silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible."
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman can be heard calling for Khashoggi to be "silenced as soon as possible" in the "smoking gun" audio recording, Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The Turkish newspaper also reported that CIA director Gina Haspel "signalled" to Turkish officials during her trip to Ankara last month that the agency was in possession of the wiretapped phone call."
"There is talk of another recording," Hurriyet newspaper journalist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote in a column, saying the alleged call took place between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his brother, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington. But this report was not confirmed by any Turkish official.
The revelations came hours after US President Donald Trump issued a statement of firm support for the kingdom and its leadership – while conceding "it could very well be" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had advance knowledge of Khashoggi's murder.
This statement was issued despite multiple reports that reiterate CIA’s possession of intelligence reports confirming the Crown Prince’s hand behind Khashoggi’s murder on foreign soil.
The Turkish newspaper’s report on the audio proof with CIA adds to the growing pile of evidence – evidence gathered by Turkey as well that points to “orders coming from the top” to silence a critic of the heir to Saudi Arabia’s throne.
But with Donald Trump standing firm by Saudi Arabia, it remains to be seen if the killing of Jamal Khashoggi will remain unpunished. The current signs are not very encouraging.