Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today said the United States will revoke entry visas for the Saudi men accused of torturing and assassinating Washington Post contributing journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
It's the first punishment of any kind by the Trump administration over what Turkey's government is now describing as the “planned” and “brutal” murder of the Saudi journalist.
From the Washington Post, a paper to which Khashoggi was a contributing writer:
Pompeo said he is also working with the Treasury Department on whether to impose other sanctions against those responsible for the journalist’s death.
“These penalties will not be the last word on this matter from the United States,” Pompeo said during a briefing at the State Department. “We will continue to explore additional measures to hold those responsible accountable.”
The State Department said the penalties would affect 21 Saudis. Most already have visas, and their documents are being revoked. Some who do not have visas are now ineligible for them, officials said.
The Trump administration has lagged behind the international community in criticizing the Saudi government for the killing of the journalist, but has started expressing frustration with Riyadh’s shifting accounts of what happened after Khashoggi entered the consulate on Oct. 2.
“The coverup was the worst in the history of coverups,” President Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, also today called on Saudi Arabia to extradite 18 suspects to Turkey to face justice proceedings over Khashoggi's death, and the ensuing coverup.