If all that failed, the prince added, then maybe the answer was "a bullet", the Times said, citing the officials who had seen the intelligence reports on the conversation.
"We know that the crown prince did not order this". The two Saudis apparently expressed concern that Khashoggi's writings were tarnishing the government's image.
"This would not and could not have happened" without MBS' involvement, an official told The Wall Street Journal. "I think for anyone to think they can dictate what we should do or what our leadership should do is preposterous".
"Over the past four months, the Saudi authorities have been less than forthcoming in their dealings with their Turkish counterparts and the worldwide community", Altun said in a written statement to Reuters.
According to officials with knowledge of this particular conversation, MBS chastised Qahtani after the aide warned against making any move that might cause an worldwide outcry.
Saudi Arabia's crown prince told a senior aide that the country "should not care about worldwide reaction" if it moved against the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They say that the evidence is incomplete and investigations would continue.
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On Thursday, the Saudi government disputed a key element of the Central Intelligence Agency assessment regarding WhatsApp exchanges between MBS and Qahtani, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported.
Cengiz, a Turkish researcher, had waited outside the Istanbul consulate for hours on the day Khashoggi was killed and alerted the authorities and media when he did not leave. "We came out and we acknowledged it".
He had embarked on a much-publicised visit to the United States six months prior with the aim of opening Saudi Arabia up to the West.
Khashoggi's killing has severely strained ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, although Erdogan has good ties with the Saudi monarch, King Salman. "We know that this was a rogue operation", he said, echoing the same theory Trump had pointed to following the murder.
"President Trump himself has said repeatedly to the extent we continue to develop facts that implicate others in the bad act ... we will continue to hold all the people connected to it accountable", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview Wednesday with the Fox Business Network.
Special UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard said on Thursday after a visit to Turkey that the killing of Khashoggi, who had written critical pieces on Saudi Arabia in the Washington Post, had been "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials.
In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press agency, SPA, Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reacts during the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Countries, GCC, Interior, Foreign, Defence Ministers Joint Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.