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President Trump broke with his own intelligence agencies on Friday, appearing to accept Saudi Arabia’s explanation that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by accident during a fistfight, while the United States’ spy agencies are increasingly convinced that he was assassinated on high-level orders from the Saudi royal court.

Mr. Trump, who has cultivated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and made Saudi Arabia the linchpin of his Middle East strategy, has been deeply reluctant to point a finger at the prince, despite evidence linking him to Saudi operatives who entered the country’s consulate in Istanbul the same day that Mr. Khashoggi disappeared there.

Trump Says Saudi Explanation of Journalist’s Death Is Credible, in Break With U.S. Intelligence

The president’s response sets up a clash with Congress, where Republicans and Democrats both tarred the Saudi explanation as lacking credibility.


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