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Intelligence report finds Saudi crown prince approved Jamal Khashoggi killing

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The Biden administration released a long-awaited intelligence report on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report found Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved of Khashoggi's capture or death. Margaret Brennan has more.

Video Transcript

NORA O'DONNELL: Well today, the Biden administration released a long-awaited intelligence report on the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The Trump administration refused to declassify it, and it points the finger squarely at the crown prince and future King of Saudi Arabia, a key US ally. We get more now from CBS's Margaret Brennan.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jamal Khashoggi entered this Saudi consulate in Turkey in October 2018 while his fiancee waited outside. Inside, he was brutally murdered and dismembered by a 15-member hit squad flown in from Saudi Arabia. A US intelligence report tonight said it included members of the elite personal protective detail for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom the US assesses personally approved the kill or capture mission.

NORA O'DONNELL: Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

MARGARET BRENNAN: In his only TV interview, when pressed by Norah for "60 Minutes," the crown prince denied ordering the killing but said he took responsibility as leader of the kingdom. But US intelligence said the crown prince has absolute control of the security forces, viewed Khashoggi as a threat, and broadly supported using violent measures, if necessary, to silence him.

NORA O'DONNELL: How did you not know about this operation?

- Some think that I should know what three million people working for the Saudi government do daily. It's impossible that the three million would send their daily reports to the leader or the second highest person in the Saudi government.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Trump administration sanctioned 17 Saudi officials in 2018 but did not punish the crown prince for his role. Today, President Biden also avoided action against the heir to the throne of this key US ally. Mr. Biden did sanction the operations ringleader and the crown prince's security squad. Is this justice?

ADAM SCHIFF: It's the beginning of accountability. But I hope the administration goes further with repercussions for all of those involved, including the crown prince.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congressman Schiff is urging the administration to go after the prince's personal financial assets. The president chose, instead, to block foreign nationals from the US if they persecute journalists or activists. But that doesn't apply to the crown prince. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia flatly rejects this intelligence report, Nora?

- Margaret Brennan, thank you.