The publisher of The Washington Post on Tuesday slammed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his comments on U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist at the paper who was killed by Saudi Arabia in 2018.
Pompeo, who is considering a run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, in a new book dismissed the idea that Khashoggi was “a Saudi Arabian Bob Woodward” and downplayed the worldwide outcry that followed his slaying as “faux outrage … fueled by the media.”
“In truth, Khashoggi was an activist who had supported the losing team in a recent fight for the throne … unhappy with being exiled,” Pompeo wrote in “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Post publisher Fred Ryan blasted the Republican, calling his statements “shocking” and accusing him of “outrageously misrepresenting” Khashoggi’s life and work.
“It is shocking and disappointing to see Mike Pompeo’s book so outrageously misrepresent the life and word of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. As the CIA — which Pompeo once directed — concluded, Jamal was brutally murdered on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman,” Ryan said.
“It is shameful that Pompeo would spread vile falsehoods to dishonor a courageous man’s life and service — and his commitment to principles Americans hold dear — as a ploy to sell books,” he added.
The Post’s publisher has been critical of other elected officials regarding Khashoggi’s killing, blasting President Biden over a decision by the U.S. to grant immunity to bin Salman in a lawsuit over Khashoggi’s death at a Saudi Consulate in Turkey.
Khashoggi’s widow Hanan Elatr also ripped Pompeo for the remarks in his book.
“Whatever he [Pompeo] mentions about my husband, he doesn’t know my husband. He should be silent and shut up the lies about my husband,” Elatr told NBC News in an interview. “It is such bad information and the wrong information. … This is not acceptable.”