READ IT: US intel report directly blames Saudi Crown Prince for approving killing of Jamal Khashoggi
US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman shake hands at the White House on March 14, 2017. Trump heads to Saudi Arabia this weekend on his first foreign trip since taking office (AFP Photo/NICHOLAS KAMM)

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released a report pinning direct blame on Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman for approving a plan to kill Saudi-born journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The ODNI says its assessment of the Saudi leader's culpability rests on "the Crown Prince's control of decisionmaking in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman's protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince's support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi."

Given that the Crown Prince has "absolute control" over security operations, the report states it "highly unlikely" that his subordinates would have carried out such an operation, which led to widespread international condemnation, on their own.

The report concludes that "the Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the Kingdom and broadly supported using violent measures if necessary to silence him," although it added that "we do not know how far in advance Saudi officials decided to harm him."

Read the whole report here (PDF).