Pompeo dresses down ABC for reporting as fact that he heard Khashoggi tape

by WorldTribune Staff, October 19, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed ABC News on Oct. 18, denying its report that he had listened to an audio tape of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi being murdered.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. / AP

ABC News, quoting a “senior Turkish official,” reported that “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has heard an alleged audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”

Speaking to reporters on Oct. 18, Pompeo said: “I’ve seen no tape. I’ve seen no – or I’ve heard no tape. I’ve seen no transcript. And the network that reported that ought to pull down the headline that says I have.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who fled to the U.S., entered the Saudi compound in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to obtain papers that would allow him to marry a Turkish woman. He has not been seen since.

Related: Who is/was, Jamal Khashoggi? Served as intel asset for rival prince, backed Muslim Brotherhood, October 16, 2018

Pompeo asked one of the reporters, “Do you work for ABC? You should actually ask them. They’re peers of yours. You should tell them that the Secretary of State is on the record saying this and that they shouldn’t – they shouldn’t do that. This is wrong to do to the fiance of Khashoggi. We should be factual when we’re reporting things about this. This is a very serious matter that we’re working diligently on. And so to put out headlines that are factually false does no one any good. You should encourage all your colleagues to behave that way. It’s most constructive when the media tells the truth. It’s very useful.”

ABC continued to promote the story on Oct. 19, only adding Pompeo’s denial deep into the story.

“Speaking exclusively and on condition of anonymity to ABC News, the official claimed the recording was played in meetings in Turkey on Wednesday, and that Pompeo was given a transcript of the recordings,” the ABC report says.

ABC said it didn’t know if Pompeo delivered the supposed transcript to President Donald Trump.

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