Trump Sends Pompeo to Riyadh Over Khashoggi

Marsha Scott
October 19, 2018

President Trump's suggestion that "rogue killers" may be responsible for Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance suggests he may let Saudi Arabia off the hook for another violation, said Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch.

Mediaite reports the CNN claim is that the Middle East nation is preparing a report that will admit Khashoggi's death.

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.

Google decided not to take part in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh amid the scandal around missing Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi, company's spokesperson said. "And we would be very upset and angry if that were the case". According to CNN, the report will likely claim the interrogation was conducted without clearance or transparency.

The Washington Times said Trump, just hours earlier, had reported talking with the Saudi king, who, he said, denied his government's involvement. Trump, largely following the advice of his advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, chose to visit Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip as president in May 2017.

Mr Trump had earlier tweeted to say that he had spoken with Salman and that he was sending U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo to Riyadh. Ankara reportedly has evidence that the dissident was murdered and dismembered inside the building by a 15-person Saudi team of assassins.

President Trump has warned that Saudi Arabia would face "severe punishment" if it was found to have killed Khashoggi.

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Riyadh's most recent comments have focused on having no knowledge of any killing or denying any such order had been given.

Trump also announced he'd dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Kingdom - and anywhere else necessary - to get to the bottom of the suspected murder of Khashoggi, who hasn't been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

Mr Trump tweeted on Monday that he had spoken with Saudi King Salman, "who denies any knowledge" of what happened to Mr Khashoggi. Last November, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman forced Lebanon's Prime Minister to resign-from Riyadh in a television appearance that had all the characteristics of a hostage video.

Other business leaders who have said they would not attend the conference, including Uber [UBER.UL] Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, said they were concerned about Khashoggi's disappearance.

Speaking on Monday about the potential cost for Saudi Arabia, Trump only told the media that "the world is watching".

He said he didn't think any government officials should go to Saudi Arabia, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's planned trip to an economic conference October 23, "until we know exactly what happened here". In statements after the call, both praised the creation of a joint Saudi-Turkish probe.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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