The gruesome murder of Khashoggi, who vanished after being lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, has hugely embarrassed Washington.
The killing torpedoed a PR campaign led by the crown prince to show that the conservative Islamic state has embarked on a new reformist path.
It also threw into question the White House strategy to make MBS, as the royal is widely known, its main partner in the tinderbox region.
Trump has for weeks resisted accepting mounting evidence of Saudi government involvement in the Khashoggi killing — and accusations that MBS ordered the hit.
However, with The New York Times reporting that the CIA has definitively concluded that Prince Mohammed was involved, the focus turned to whether Trump would punish his Saudi partner or find a way to let it slide. Read more