Thu, 22 Aug 2019

The United States' top diplomat has denied allegations that President Donald Trump's administration is trying to cover up the killing of Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

Mike Pompeo made the comments on February 11 while responding to reporters' questions during a visit to Hungary.

The allegations, leveled by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, focus on the Trump administration's failure to send a report to Congress determining who was responsible for his death

Last year, nearly two dozen Senate Republicans and Democrats called for an investigation into Khashoggi's death and whether Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was responsible.

The investigation was requested under a law known as the Global Magnitsky Act.

The act required the president to send the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a report by February 8 on the responsibility of Bin Salman.

In a letter to the top Democrat on the Senate committee, Bob Menendez, Pompeo said Trump had called for a prompt investigation into Khashoggis death.

A columnist for The Washington Post who had been critical of the royal family, Khashoggi was killed in October after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to get a document he needed for his upcoming marriage.

'America is not covering up for a murder,' Pompeo said.

Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, where Khashoggi lived, accused the administration of a cover-up.

'America should never descend to this level of moral bankruptcy. Congress will not relent in its efforts to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for this heinous crime,' Kaine said in a statement.

Based on reporting by AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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