Trump to discuss Khashoggi murder with Secretary of State Pompeo, CIA

Marsha Scott
November 19, 2018

"A Saudi Embassy spokesman called the accusations false, adding We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations". The Saudi government denies the claim.

As lawmakers push legislation to punish Saudi Arabia for the killing, both Republican and Democratic senators on Saturday urged Mr Trump to be tough on the crown prince, with whom he has cultivated a deep personal relationship.

"They haven't assessed anything yet".

The president also never fails to mention that Saudi Arabia is a USA ally - called it a "spectacular ally" on Saturday.

"Recent reports indicating that the USA government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate", said Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

FILE - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Oct. 23, 2018.

The briefing comes as several media outlets reported Friday that Central Intelligence Agency officials said they were highly confident that 15 Saudi agents flew to Istanbul in government aircraft at the orders of Salman to kill Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate.

The killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have taken his dismembered body out of Turkey in luggage, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying by broadcaster CNN Turk on Sunday.

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In a related development, Kirsten Fontenrose, a White House official who had pushed for strong action against Saudi Arabia, resigned on Friday evening, The New York Times first reported. He said Saturday "the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts", she said in a statement.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post and also former Saudi royal insider who became a critic of the country's government, went missing on October 2 after he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain papers for his upcoming marriage. Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday called for an worldwide investigation into the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. "You saw we put on very heavy sanctions, massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia", Trump said.

Khalid bin Salman denied the allegation via Twitter soon after the Post published its article.

"The last contact I had with Mr. Khashoggi was via text on October 26, 2017. I ask the USA government to release any information regarding this claim".

He pushed for Riyadh to disclose the location of Khashoggi's remains and called for the suspects to be tried in Turkey.

The US President said he would get a briefing on the topic, adding: "As of this moment we were told that he did not play a role".

In the latest version, the Saudi prosecutor said a 15-member team went to Istanbul to bring Khashoggi back to the kingdom but killed him instead in a rogue operation.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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