Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called senior Trump administration officials to express support for Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
The Post also reported that bin Salman, in conversations with the White House, has described Khashoggi as "a unsafe Islamist", claiming he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. After weeks of denying involvement, the Kingdom admitted he had been killed at the consulate and that it was premeditated.
The outcry in the US demonizing Saudi Arabia over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul threatens US-Saudi strategic ties, the former Saudi intelligence chief warned on Wednesday.
The Saudis have presented shifting stories about Khashoggi's fate, initially denying any knowledge before arguing that a group of rogue operators, many of whom belong to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's inner circle, were responsible for Khashoggi's death.
The Israeli PM had asked top USA officials recently not to abandon their support for bin Salman over the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey's Istanbul, according to multiple reports. Ankara maintains that there is strong proof that the killing of the Saudi journalist at the Saudi consulate on October 2 came as a result of a pre-planned operation by a squad of hitmen rather than a spontaneous fist-fight incident, as claimed by Riyadh.
Netanyahu has refrained from publicly weighing in on the murder by Saudi agents of journalist and regime critic Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Khashoggi's family rejected the characterization in a statement to the newspaper.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also called on Riyadh to disclose the identity of an alleged local collaborator said to have been involved in disposing of Khashoggi's body.
"We made a commitment of holding accountable all those responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi", the U.S. chief diplomat noted in a separate WIBK radio interview.
Some claimed the body was wrapped up in a rug to be transported from the scene, while others said the hit squad carried the dismembered corpse away in several bags.
The US-Saudi relationship "is too big to fail", Prince Turki said.
President Trump has said he is "not satisfied" with the Saudi account. Khashoggi, once close to the Saudi royal family, moved to the Washington, D.C. area in recent years.
On Wednesday Turkey said he was strangled immediately after entering the consulate and his body dismembered "in accordance with plans made in advance".