Trump doubts Saudi account of Khashoggi’s death: "There’s been deception, and there’s been lies"

President Trump strongly criticized Saudi Arabia’s explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi late Saturday, saying that “obviously there’s been deception, and there’s been lies.”

At the same time, Trump defended the oil-rich monarchy as an “incredible ally” and kept open the possibility that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not order Saudi agents to kill Khashoggi.

“Nobody has told me he’s responsible. Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point . . . I would love if he wasn’t responsible,” Trump said in a phone interview with The Washington Post…

CIA officials have listened to an audio recording that Turkish officials say proves the journalist was killed and dismembered by the Saudi team, according to people familiar with the matter. If verified, the recording would make it difficult for the United States to accept the Saudi version that Khashoggi’s death was effectively an accident. Officials agreed to speak for this article on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic.