Jamal Khashoggi’s Secret Interview Released After His Death Confirmed

By Allen Zhong

Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist died inside the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, was interviewed by Rula Jebreal for Newsweek magazine.

Jebreal is a Palestinian-Israeli foreign policy analyst and journalist. Khashoggi spoke confidentially with her when she was working on a cover story on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is colloquially known as MBS.

She decides to publish the interview transcript when Saudi Arabia confirmed the death of Khashoggi. Jebreal mentioned that her story was published on Aug. 30, but it’s unclear when and where the interview was conducted.

According to the transcript, Khashoggi talked about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the reform in Saudi, and his views on Saudi Arabia’s future.

Trump: Arrests in Khashoggi’s Death ‘Good First Step’

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, went missing after entering the consulate on Oct. 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. The Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Oct. 19 that Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia fired five top officials afterward, including Deputy Chief of General Intelligence Ahmad bin Hassan Assiri, a royal court adviser Abdullah Al-Qahtani, and Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Rumaih an assistant to the intelligence chief.

A number of lower officials were also relieved of their posts.

The kingdom also arrested 18 Saudi citizens.

On Oct. 20, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered a ministerial committee form to restructure the presidency of the kingdom’s intelligence services. The committee is chaired by Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz who is the president of the Council of Political and Security Affairs.

President Donald Trump said the 18 arrests by Saudi Arabia is a “good first step” and “a big step.” He also noted that the United States is continuing its investigation into the “unacceptable” incident. Trump made the remarks during a visit to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona on Oct. 19.

Pompeo meets Saudi king on Khashoggi case
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 16, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Since the news of Khashoggi’s disappearance came out, Trump indicated that he would consider sanctions or other means to penalize Saudi Arabia, but wouldn’t want to cancel the $450 billion in purchases and investments the kingdom promised the United States, which includes a $110 billion arms contract.

“There are plenty of other things we can do,” Trump said.

What We Know About Khashoggi’s Death

Khashoggi was a Saudi citizen who had been living in a self-imposed exile in the United States.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said that Khashoggi met some people inside the Saudi Consulate. They tried to convinced Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia.

The discussion didn’t go well and escalated physically, which “led to a brawl and a fist fight” and “led to his [Khashoggi] death,” The Saudi attorney general said in a statement.

“The results of the preliminary investigations revealed that the discussions that took place with the citizen during his presence in the consulate by the suspects did not go as required and escalated negatively, which led to a fight between them and the citizen, which aggregated the situation and led to his death, may God rest his soul,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Epoch Times reporter Petr Svab and NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.