Now playing
02:24
Inside the relationship between the Saudis and Jeff Bezos
Now playing
02:13
ECB president on women leaders: 'Of course we can do the job'
Now playing
01:36
Michael Bolton wants you to break up with Robinhood
Now playing
01:57
Fed chief downplays inflation concerns
Now playing
04:34
See what has happened to Trump's DC hotel after his loss
Now playing
01:41
Meet the 29-year-old cancer survivor set to make history in space
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell waits outside the West Wing of the White House before entering on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell waits outside the West Wing of the White House before entering on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:39
MyPillow and its CEO Mike Lindell sued by Dominion
Bill Gates AC intv 022021
PHOTO: CNN
Bill Gates AC intv 022021
Now playing
02:32
Will Bill Gates go back to shaking hands? Hear his thoughts
02 Bill Gates AC intv 02202021
PHOTO: CNN
02 Bill Gates AC intv 02202021
Now playing
02:13
Bill Gates optimistic about climate policy under Biden WH
Now playing
05:37
Texas mayor: We were not prepared
Now playing
03:05
Watch lawmakers grill Robinhood's CEO
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
04:47
ERCOT CEO explains how Texas power failure happened
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15: A person walks by a closed New York City business on October 15, 2020 in New York City. As American workers continue to struggle in an economy brought down by COVID-19, new jobless claims rose to 898,000 last week. It was the highest number since August 22 and represented a gain of 53,000 from the previous week
PHOTO: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15: A person walks by a closed New York City business on October 15, 2020 in New York City. As American workers continue to struggle in an economy brought down by COVID-19, new jobless claims rose to 898,000 last week. It was the highest number since August 22 and represented a gain of 53,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised total of 845,000. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:11
Weekly initial jobless claims jump to 861,000
Now playing
02:42
A challenging year for women: Millions are out of work
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: In this photo illustration a message is seen on Facebook mobile, on February 18, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Facebook has banned publishers and users in Australia from posting and sharing news content as the Australian government prepares to pass laws that will require social media companies to pay news publishers for sharing or using content on their platforms. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: In this photo illustration a message is seen on Facebook mobile, on February 18, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Facebook has banned publishers and users in Australia from posting and sharing news content as the Australian government prepares to pass laws that will require social media companies to pay news publishers for sharing or using content on their platforms. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:05
Facebook blocks news sharing in Australia in response to government proposal
PHOTO: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Now playing
00:58
Watch Trump's Atlantic City casino implode
(CNN Business) —  

An investigator working for Jeff Bezos to find out how evidence of his extramarital relationship with Lauren Sanchez was provided to the National Enquirer now claims that Saudi Arabia had access to information before the photos and texts were leaked.

“Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information,” Gavin de Becker wrote in an opinion article for the Daily Beast that was published Saturday. He did not offer concrete evidence supporting his allegations against the Saudi government. De Becker said that his findings have been turned over to federal officials and that he won’t share details of the investigation out of respect to those officials, adding “I intend today’s writing to be my last public statement on the matter.”

He added that it is not clear whether the National Enquirer’s parent company American Media Inc., or AMI, “was aware of the details.”

AMI responded to de Becker’s allegation in a statement to CNN Business on Sunday saying that it relied on one source, Sanchez’s brother, Michael Sanchez, for its story.

“Despite the false and unsubstantiated claims of Mr. de Becker, American Media has, and continues to, refute the unsubstantiated claims that the materials for our report were acquired with the help of anyone other than the single source who first brought them to us … there was no involvement by any other third party whatsoever.”

Saudi Arabia denies any relationship to the Bezos story, according to de Becker. Saudi Arabian officials and de Becker did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment regarding the op-ed over the weekend.

De Becker’s article raises the stakes surrounding the National Enquirer’s tabloid exposé of a romantic relationship between the billionaire Amazon CEO and Sanchez, a former anchor for Fox’s local station in Los Angeles. Bezos has implied that AMI tried to extort him to please the Saudi government — which allegedly has links to AMI and is upset with Bezos-owned Washington Post’s coverage of murdered columnist Jamal Khashoggi —or President Donald Trump. AMI says that’s not the case.

Writing for the Daily Beast, Bezos
PHOTO: Virginia Mayo/AP/Cliff Owen/AP/Nicolas AsfourI/Getty Images
Writing for the Daily Beast, Bezos' investigator Gavin de Becker accused the Saudi government of leaking proof of Bezos' extramarital relatoinship to the National Enquirer because of the Washington Post's coverage of Jamal Khashoggi's death.

In the Daily Beast, de Becker wrote that he and his team spoke with current and former AMI executives and sources, Middle East intelligence experts, Saudi whistleblowers and dissidents, as well as current and former advisers to President Trump, among others, before reaching the conclusion.

The National Enquirer tried to “strong-arm an American citizen whom[Saudi Arabia’s] country’s leadership wanted harmed, compromised, and silenced,” according to de Becker.

Both Bezos and the Washington Post have been criticized repeatedly by the president, who has his own links to American Media.

AMI chairman David Pecker is a longtime friend of Trump’s, and the Enquirer was one of Trump’s most reliable and enthusiastic media boosters during the campaign. The publisher has admitted to making a payment of $150,000 in cooperation with members of Trump’s presidential campaign to prevent former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s claims of an affair with Trump from being made public during the 2016 race. Trump denied the affair.

Federal prosecutors ultimately struck a non-prosecution agreement with the publisher, effectively ruling out charges for AMI over its role in securing hush money from Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

De Becker believes that the texts and photographs sent from Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were shared with the National Enquirer by Michael Sanchez.

But de Becker claims that the National Enquirer knew about the messages before approaching Sanchez. Sanchez told CNN Business that AMI was already pursuing a story about the relationship when it came to him. He added that “de Becker’s latest smoke-and-mirrors distraction ” contained “zero evidence.”

In its statement, AMI said that “the fact of the matter is, it was Michael Sanchez who tipped the National Enquirer off to the affair on Sept. 10, 2018, and over the course of four months provided all of the materials for our investigation.” The spokesperson added that Sanchez’s “continued efforts to discuss and falsely represent our reporting, and his role in it, has waived any source confidentiality.”

De Becker argues that the first source is the Saudi Arabian government. He said that the Saudi leadership wanted to harm Bezos because of the Washington Post’s coverage of Khashoggi’s death. Khashoggi, who had been critical of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in the fall.

The Saudis have presented shifting stories about Khashoggi’s fate, initially denying any knowledge before arguing that a group of rogue operators, many of whom belong to bin Salman’s inner circle, were responsible for the journalist’s death. Riyadh has maintained that neither bin Salman nor King Salman knew of the operation to target Khashoggi. US officials, however, have said such a mission — including 15 men sent from Riyadh — could not have been carried out without the authorization of bin Salman.

The Washington Post has been closely covering the incident, and Bezos was the target of a pro-Saudi campaign wielded by Saudi social media users and a Saudi journalist in the wake of Khashoggi’s death that called for a boycott against Amazon and Souq, an e-commerce site owned by Amazon.

Bezos himself called attention to the connection between AMI and Saudi Arabia in an explosive blog post he published to Medium in February accusing AMI of trying to blackmail him with proof of the affair.

In the post, Bezos noted that AMI has been investigated “for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.”

He pointed to an Associated Press story about AMI’s publication of a glossy magazine celebrating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the United States in April 2018. AMI denied that Saudis had directed the magazine’s production or paid for it, but the AP reported that three weeks before the prince’s arrival, the media company sent a copy to the Saudi embassy, where it circulated among officials who then shared it with Washington foreign policy contacts. AMI said it didn’t share an advance copy of the report with the Saudis, AP said in their story.

De Becker also referred to the story as evidence of a connection between AMI and the Saudi government.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir has in the past denied any connection between his country and AMI to CNN.

-— CNN’s Brian Stelter, Oliver Darcy, Tom Kludt, Nicole Gaouette, Nada Altaher, Chandler Thornton and Sheena McKenzie contributed to this report.