Because journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared at a consulate under the full control of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi denials of knowledge or involvement "very much ring hollow," according former CIA Director John Brennan.
"If Khashoggi had disappeared in Turkey when he was at a hotel or a private residence, I think there is plausible deniability on the part of the Saudi government," Brennan told NBC's "Meet the Press." "But he disappeared when there is video evidence of him being at the consulate."
It is "up to the Saudi's now to explain now what actually happened," particularly since whatever happened might have come with the knowledge — if not the order — of their government, Brennan added to host Chuck Todd.
"Their denials ring hollow, very much ring hollow," Brennan said. "To go after a permanent resident of the United States who writes for The Washington Post, and doing it on foreign soil, at a diplomatic mission, to me it would be inconceivable that such an operation would be run by the Saudis without the knowledge of the day-to-day decision-maker of Saudi Arabia, that's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
"I think it is just beyond reality."
MBS has been "emboldened" by the relationship with President Donald Trump and adviser Jared Kushner, who have given MBS "increased confident" to act, according to Brennan.
Brennan who has worked in Saudi Arabia said there have been past princes under King Salman who had been held accountable for transgressions of the law, if not executions, but he questioned if the aging King Salman still has the political power, or mental capacity, to hold MBS accountable after a Saudi investigation.
"He is aging and there are indications he has failed a bit, and whether or not now he is able to muster the strength and the capacity to find out what happened, including the role of his son," Brennan told Todd.
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