CIA Director Gina Haspel departed for Turkey on Monday amid a growing international uproar over Saudi Arabia’s explanation of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to people familiar with the matter.
The visit by the U.S. spy chief comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a speech planned for early Tuesday vows to reveal the full extent of what his aides are calling a Saudi-directed murder and attempted coverup.
The arrival of the director suggests an effort by the U.S. intelligence community to assess the information the Turks have, including what Turkish officials have said is audio that captures the killing. Intelligence officials are increasingly skeptical of the Saudi account and have warned President Trump that the idea that rogue operators flew to Istanbul and killed Khashoggi without the knowledge or consent of Saudi leaders is dubious, a White House official said.
On Monday, Trump told reporters that “I am not satisfied with what I’ve heard” from Saudi Arabia and pledged to get to the bottom of what happened.
“We have top intelligence people in Turkey. We’re going to see what we have. I’ll know a lot tomorrow,” he said. “They’ll be coming back either tonight or tomorrow morning. But we have people in Saudi Arabia and in Turkey.”