The journalist Rula Jebreal has revealed that she did a “secret” interview with Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi before his disappearance. Jebreal did the interview as part of a larger story she was writing for Newsweek about Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi’s homeland. On October 19, Newsweek decided to make the audio of the interview public. You can listen to that audio here, and you can also read the full transcript here. The full story, on Newsweek’s site, is available to read here.
Jebreal doesn’t say exactly when she carried out the interview with Khashoggi. She writes that she didn’t put it up sooner because they were speaking in confidence; the interview was never meant to become public. But after Saudi Arabia confirmed that Khashoggi was dead, Jebreal changed her mind, and said she wants everyone to hear Khashoggi.
Khashoggi Said Bernie Sanders Was the Only American Politician Putting Pressure on the Saudi Crown Prince
During the interview, Jebreal asked Khashoggi about the need for reform in Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi said that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, is basically just a “tribal leader” with no true interest in reform.
And Khashoggi said that part of the problem is that nobody in Saudi Arabia can stand up to the crown prince. He said there is also no real pressure being brought to bear on him by the international community. Khashoggi said that in the United States, the only politician who seriously criticizes MBS is Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and one-time presidential candidate.
Khashoggi told Jebreal, “First of all, there is no political movement in Saudi Arabia that could pressure him, number one. And the world is happy with him. Do you see anybody in America except for Bernie Sanders who is calling for putting pressure on MBS? I only saw Bernie Sanders, but no one else.”