RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—In a press conference ahead of a meeting with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman admitted Tuesday that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died during a botched assassination attempt. “We lured Mr. Khashoggi to our consulate in Turkey for what was supposed to be a straightforward, routine execution, but things went off the rails at some point during the torture portion, and he accidentally bled out,” said the crown prince, adding that under normal circumstances, journalists who negatively portray the Saudi regime are eliminated efficiently and without international uproar. “We offer our sincere apologies to the Khashoggi family for mishandling Jamal’s slaughter. This should have been a quick in-and-out death and dismemberment situation, not the drawn-out, hours-long bloodbath it turned into. We flubbed this one big time.” The crown prince also assured journalists that Saudi leaders plan to implement new murder guidelines to standardize future assassinations and reduce instances of bungled hits.
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