The West Point graduate, who according to The New York Times twice declined the diplomatic post, will now be competing with a longstanding backchannel between Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The hit squad believed to have killed the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi passed through Istanbul airport with a "torturer's toolkit" in their baggage, according to new leaks in the Turkish press.
The call is believed to be between Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb-one of the Saudi agents at the consulate-and an aide to the crown prince.
The U.S. official's takeaways from the audio recordings, which are allegedly from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where Khashoggi was killed on October 2, are contrary to other reports.
Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia have been uneasy recently, following the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"Let the human rights units from all respected organizations, from the United Nations to the European Union, come and watch this trial", said Omer Celik, spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party. Indeed when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recordings he was so shocked he said: 'This one must have taken heroin, only someone who takes who heroin would do this, ' he added.
After Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its Istanbul consulate, five high-ranking officials were dismissed, including bin Salman's media chief and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service.
US President Donald Trump has named a former army general with long experience in the Middle East as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, a post that has been vacant since Joseph Westphal left in January 2017.
While in Singapore Tuesday, Bolton said he did not think that people who heard the recordings concluded that the crown prince was linked to the killing.
The 59-year-old Saudi dissident was last seen entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.
Still, Khashoggi's body has not been returned, and audio recordings circulating around government agencies appear to indicate that that someone senior, possibly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had ordered the killing.
Erdogan told reporters on his plane returning from a weekend visit to France that he discussed the Saudi journalist's killing with the US, French and German leaders at dinner in Paris.
"The explanations which have been offered thus far by Saudi Arabia lack credibility and consistency", Freeland said Tuesday after meeting with union members in Windsor.
Turkey has several audio recordings including the killing itself and conversations prior to the operation which Turkey subsequently uncovered, two sources with knowledge of the issue have told Reuters.
Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen said he expects to see significant sanctions against the Saudis "targeted to the highest levels of the Saudi government".
Saudi officials said the Turks have not provided audio to them that includes the phrase "tell your boss".