Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images.

Saudi Arabia's attorney general says journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after a fight broke out between him and people who met him at the consulate in Istanbul, according to Saudi state TV.

Why it matters: The Saudis and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are walking a tightrope here in an effort to avoid the massive international backlash that would accompany a conclusion that this was an assassination ordered from the top. The Trump administration has been waiting for their explanation. Finally, after 17 days, it's starting to emerge.

The details: In a statement from the Public Prosecutor's Office: Its investigations continue in this case with 18 detainees so far, all of whom are Saudi nationals. The account contradicts its own earlier claim that Khashoggi left shortly after arriving the consulate.

The kingdom has also fired five top officials, including deputy chief of general intelligence Ahmad bin Hassan Assiri, royal court advisor Abdullah Al-Qahtani, and assistant to intelligence chief Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Rumaih.

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Trump's new TikTok threat

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.

Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

James Hackett, left, is retiring as Ford CEO. Jim Farley, right, takes over Oct. 1. Photo: Ford

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Watch the full "Axios on HBO" interview with President Trump

In this episode of “Axios on HBO”, President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.

The interview was filmed on Tuesday, July 28 and aired Monday, Aug. 3 on HBO.