Trump says missing journalist likely dead, threatens punishment

Adjust Comment Print

On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he was postponing a planned trip to Saudi Arabia pending the outcome of the investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, calling the case "extremely worrying. and disturbing".

"Given the reports surrounding Mr Khashoggi's disappearance, America's relationship with Saudi Arabia ought to be carefully scrutinised, as should any possible sale of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia", he said.

Axios co-founder Mike Allen told Dana Perino that Pompeo warned Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the kingdom would only have 72 hours to complete a promised investigation.

Trump appeared to confirm the lack of evidence when he said on October 17 that the United States had asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence it may have related to Khashoggi. People close to the White House have already been briefed and given General Assiri's name.

A Turkish official said Friday that investigators are looking into the possibility that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's remains may have been taken to a forest outside Istanbul or to another city after his suspected killing at the consulate earlier this month. On Thursday, Pompeo said he advised President Trump to give Saudi Arabia "a few more days" to complete the probe.

Mr. Trump said he would wait for the results of three different investigations before drawing conclusions.

In a frame from surveillance camera footage taken Oct. 2, 2018, and published Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, by the pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah, a man identified by Turkish officials as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, walks toward the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul before writer Jamal Khashoggi disappeared.

Turkish sources have told Reuters the authorities have an audio recording indicating Khashoggi, a us resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post, was killed.

"Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he's dead", Trump said to The Times. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, a high-ranking adviser to the crown prince, would be an extraordinary recognition of the magnitude of worldwide backlash to hit the kingdom since the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist from Saudi Arabia living in exile in the US, vanished this month after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "If they knew about it, that would be bad", he said during an interview on Tuesday.

Answering a question on what would be the consequences for Saudi Arabia, Trump said: "Well, it'll have to be very severe". But one of the key figures in the Saudi-U.S. alliance is receiving particular scrutiny for his role, or lack thereof, in the response: Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. The crown prince is next in line for the throne, which is held by his ailing, aged father King Salman.

Pompeo told reporters that he advised Trump that Saudi Arabia should be given a few more days to complete its investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi, which has caused an global outcry and strained Saudi relations with western countries and corporations.