CNN had a real bombshell this morning: Video of the use of a body double for Jamal Khashoggi after his murder.
"Officials are convinced the killing was a premeditated murder and they believe the Saudis went to the extent of sending a body double leaving the consulate to cover up the murder," CNN report Clarissa Ward said.
"It's part of the government investigation, and it appears to show, Alisyn, just that, take a look. At first glance, this man could almost pass for Khashoggi, and that's the idea. These are the last known images of Khashoggi alive moments before he entered the Saudi consulate. Take a look. Same clothes, same glasses and beard, everything except the shoes.
"But a senior Turkish official tells CNN that the man on the left is a body double, one of 15 Saudi operatives sent to kill Khashoggi and cover it up. Surveillance cameras capture him arriving at the consulate in a plaid shirt and jeans at 11:03 with an accomplice, and hours later, Khashoggi arrives and was killed inside.
"While Khashoggi's fiance waited in front of the consulate, we are told the double left out of the backdoor in the same clothes as the victim. He takes a taxi to one of the main tourists attractions and an easy place to get lost in the crowd. The men head to the bathroom. The accomplice carries a bag, and when they emerge he is wearing his own clothes again. Little do they know Turkish authorities would uncover the cover-up. At the next stop at the restaurant, and they throw away the bag. Their mission is complete.
"Of course the question everybody is asking themselves is, if the Saudis went to so much trouble to set up the decoy, why didn't they release the footage at the very beginning," Ward said.
"The answer may be they understand the authorities were already on to them and nobody was going to buy that story, and a few more updates, there's more employees of the consulate being interviewed by the Turkish prosecutors office and we also expect to hear from the Turkish president tomorrow."
"Remarkable reporting. Stay with us. We want to bring in John Avlon. Let's throw it up on the scene, they brought in a body double, and then in Khashoggi's clothes to fool the world, John. Saudi Arabia for three weeks has been trying to fool the world here, and now they are trying to have us believe a version of events where it was a fistfight all gone bad," John Berman said.
"This is just remarkable visual proof of the extent to which they went and the Trump administration was willing to parrot those statements."
"That's right," Avlon said. "The fact that this is so clearly premedicated, and did not change the hair or shoes, but had him wear Khashoggi's own clothing, and that speaks to the absurdity they put out on friday. You don't bring 15 folks to a fist fight."