Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump offers ‘rogue killers’ theory, sends Pompeo to Saudi Arabia

Trump offers ‘rogue killers’ theory, sends Pompeo to Saudi Arabia

Before day's end, media reports citing anonymous sources began to appear saying Saudi officials were considering issuing a public statement that would indeed say that Khashoggi died in Saudi custody, a outcome of an interrogation gone wrong.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure.

But CNN cited two sources as saying the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge Khashoggi's death resulted from an interrogation that went wrong during an intended abduction.

Trump said when announcing his presidential run at Trump Tower in 2015.

Pompeo to visit Saudi US President Donald Trump on Monday said he is sending his top diplomat to Saudi Arabia after Saudi King Salman told him in a phone call that he has no idea what happened to missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The team arrived on Monday afternoon to the consulate in Istanbul's fourth Levent neighbourhood as journalists filmed and took photographs of their arrival.

The cleaning crew was seen entering the consulate shortly before Turkish investigators were set to arrive to carry out an "inspection" in search of additional evidence of who was behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the Saudi royal family.

"He didn't really know".

Mr. Trump said he doesn't want to scuttle a lucrative arms deal with the kingdom and noted that Khashoggi is a US resident, not a citizen.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida and in Georgia. "This is very important to get to the bottom of it", Trump said.

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Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Mr Khashoggi, who wrote columns in the Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi regime, for its part, has fervently denied accusations that it had anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance and threatened to retaliate against nations that attempt to hold the kingdom accountable.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 16, 2018.

Four years later, the prince came to his rescue again, joining other investors in a $325 million deal for Mr. Trump's money-losing Plaza Hotel.

Rubio said U.S. -Saudi relations may need to be "completely revised" and stressed the U.S. would lose credibility on human rights if the Trump administration remained silent.

Prince Mohammed, 33, a son of King Salman, consolidated his control in June 2017 when he was named Crown Prince to replace his cousin, Mohammed Nayef, who was sacked.

"It's being investigated, it's being looked at very, very strongly", Trump said, after CBS's Lesley Stahl asked whether the Saudis had murdered Khashoggi.

Turkish authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, a Turkish official and a security source told Reuters, and have shared evidence with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The statement said the Saudi government "also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action", noting that its economy, as the world's biggest oil exporter, "has an influential and vital role in the global economy".

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