Saudi Arabia claims that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died as a result of a fist fight with officials at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, according to an announcement made on Saudi state television.
Khashoggi, who has been missing since the beginning of October, went to the consulate to complete paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiancée, and was never seen leaving. His fiancée was waiting outside for several hours.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expresses deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place in this case and affirms the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the attention of the public and to hold accountable all those involved," the Saudi statement read.
#STATEMENT | The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful outcome and stresses the commitment of the author… https://t.co/gbqLeeca8x— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦)1539990954.0
How did they explain it?
Here's how the conflict went down, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
“The results of the preliminary investigations revealed that the discussions that took place with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi during his presence in the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul by the suspects did not go as required and escalated negatively which led to a fight between them and the citizen Jamal Khashoggi, which aggregated (sic) the situation and led to his death, may God rest his soul, in addition to their attempt to conceal what happened and to cover it up."
According to CNN, five high-ranking Saudi officials have been fired, and 18 other Saudis have been arrested and are still being detained.
Saudi Arabia will now begin a full investigation of the incident, with a deadline of one month to produce a report.
#STATEMENT | On the case of the disappearance of the Saudi citizen Jamal bin Ahmed Khashoggi https://t.co/RmgOwtYdNW— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦)1539991865.0
What has the U.S. said about this?
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released the following statement:
"The United States acknowledges the announcement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that its investigation into the fate of Jamal Khashoggi is progressing and that it has taken action against the suspects it has identified thus far," Sanders said. "We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process. We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi's death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has called for strong sanctions against Saudi Arabia for its party in Khashoggi's death, expressed doubt about the official Saudi explanation.
"To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement," Graham said.
President Donald Trump reportedly wants to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before any further action is taken.
BREAKING: Trump says he wants to talk to Saudi crown prince before next steps, calls it "very important" that kingdom made arrests.— The Associated Press (@The Associated Press)1539996595.0