Trump, after rogue killers comment, doubts unreleased Saudi report on Khashoggi

U. S. National Archives empty roads as people stopped driving  Public Domain

Mr. Khashoggi, a US resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of the powerful Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul nearly two weeks ago to get marriage documents. He was an outspoken critic of the Saudi regime, and was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

There was also a suggestion they had meant to abduct Khashoggi and take him to Saudi Arabia. "President Trump's suggestion that Khashoggi's elaborately planned murder in the Saudi's own consulate was orchestrated by "rogue killers" defies reality", said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

In this December 15, 2014 file photo, Jamal Khashoggi, then general manager of a new Arabic news channel speaks during a press conference, in Manama, Bahrain.

October 7: Saudi government officials deny involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance after reports that he was killed.

A team of cleaners were reported to have entered the consulate on Monday lunchtime - "causing a minor flurry of excitement", according to one reporter - hours before the search team showed up.

"He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer". Cengiz waits for him outside for four hours, but he never comes out and is told by consulate staff that he left out a back door.

Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist who disappeared in suspicious circumstances in early October, described the relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia as only a "political", not a religious problem in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post years before his disappearance.

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Saudi Arabia had earlier denied killing Khashoggi and denounced such assertions as "lies", saying he left the building shortly after entering.

Trump said on Monday he had spent about 20 minutes on the phone with King Salman, who denied having any information about what had happened to Khashoggi. Most experts say that probably won't happen.

"The denial was very, very strong", Trump later told reporters at the White House.

"Been hearing the ridiculous "rogue killers" theory was where the Saudis would go with this", Sen.

CBS News has learned Saudi leadership is preparing to admit that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation gone wrong.

"I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!"

King Salman and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday evening and stressed the importance of the two countries creating a joint group as part of the probe.

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The controversy has troubled Saudi's traditional Western allies - who are key arms suppliers to the kingdom - and also undermined efforts by Mohamed bin Salman to present himself as a modernising ruler.

An investment conference seen as a platform for the crown prince and dubbed the "Davos in the Desert", which was scheduled to take place in Riyadh next week, has been hit by a string of prominent cancellations.

In a major new blow for the event, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford chairman Bill Ford also cancelled plans to attend as well as Larry Fink, the head of investment giant BlackRock, and Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone.

Iran has lost some customers for its oil because of looming US sanctions, but high prices are making up for the lost sales, Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri has said.

Mr Khashoggi, a United States resident, vanished after entering the consulate to get marriage documents.

Trump previously said the episode would not have an effect on USA relations with Saudi Arabia, a close ally in the Middle East.

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