Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Saudi journalist's disappearance

Randal Sanchez
October 16, 2018

Khashoggi, 59, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate on the afternoon of October 2.

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. A Turkish diplomatic source had earlier said a joint Turkish-Saudi team would search the building - the last place Khashoggi was seen before he vanished on October 2.

On Monday, President Donald Trump suggested "rogue killers" could be behind Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

Khashoggi was U.S. resident and wrote articles for The Washington Post, splitting his time between Virginia, London, and Istanbul since he left Saudi Arabia in June 2017.

The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming the Saudi proposal for the joint group and said no one could undermine their relationship. I mean, who knows?

Riyadh denies the Saudi writer was murdered, his body dismembered and removed by a 15-man hit squad, which flew into Istanbul on the day he disappeared.

The Saudi government has described the allegations as "baseless", but have offered no evidence that Mr Khashoggi left the consulate.

It comes as Saudi Arabia has denied involvement in his disappearance. Germany, Britain and France issued a joint statement over the weekend expressing "grave concern" and calling for a credible investigation to ensure those responsible for the disappearance "are held to account".

Trump's comments came after a telephone conversation with King Salman, father of the crown prince, the first such talks since the crisis erupted.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to the United States a year ago fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests. He and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, have forged close ties.

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September 28: Khashoggi visits the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul for the first time to pick up a permission document to marry Cengiz.

Trump tweeted early Monday that Salman denied any knowledge of "whatever may have happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen'".

"There's something, you'll be surprised to hear me say that, there's something really bad and disgusting about that if that was the case". But all I can say is that we are monitoring the situation.

The recordings purportedly indicated that the prominent Saudi journalist was tortured and killed at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, according to the Turkish Sabah daily.

Trump's warning drew an angry response on Sunday from Saudi Arabia and its state-linked media, including a suggestion that Riyadh could wield its oil production as a weapon.

This news has coincided with a massive WWE event that is set to take place on 2 November in Saudi Arabia.

But Mr Trump is firmly opposed.

"The world is watching, the world is talking".

The president said Mr. Pompeo was directed to visit whatever countries were necessary to get to the bottom of it. "All they're going to do is give it to other countries, and I think that would be very foolish".

"That meeting ....is about terrorists' financing and how to stop it - it's a very important meeting", Kudlow said.

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