Trump addresses Khashoggi with senior Saudi leader

Lester Mason
October 11, 2018

The ongoing investigation and public outcry over Mr. Khashoggi's fate have prompted a wave of responses from the Trump administration in recent days.

Donald Trump says he is "demanding" answers from Saudi Arabia over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "We can not let this happen, to reporters, to anybody". "Well, I have to find out who did it, but people saw him go in...but they didn't see come out, as they understand it and we're going to take a very serious look at it".

Trump was briefly asked about the disappearance at the White House on Tuesday.

Global news agencies reported that Turkish officials, who asked not to be identified, stated last Saturday evening that the Saudi journalist was killed by a team that arrived to Istanbul for a definite goal and left on the same day, while Turkish sources reported that those who entered the consulate during the presence of Khashoggi were from the Saudi Arabian security services.

The group's members planned to lobby corporate leaders, policymakers, journalists and think tanks on behalf of democracy and human rights in the region. Saudi Arabia, however, has been a major U.S. ally in the Middle East since WWII, including serving as the launching pad for the 1991 Gulf War and, most recently, as the linchpin of regime change efforts directed against Iran and Syria.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday the United States was ready to help in any way in the investigation.

For us, but especially for Jamal, it was particularly significant.

Spending more than a year in self-imposed exile in the United States - away from his country, his family and his loved ones - had taken a toll on him.

He is also a former editor of the Saudi newspaper al-Watan and had worked with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a grandson of the first Saudi king who was detained previous year as part of what the authorities said was an anti-corruption campaign. "Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable".

Trump added: "Nobody knows what happened yet".

He has been critical the monarchy's continued arrest of critics on both the left and right, despite its professed reforms.

The videos show one of two private jets arriving at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport early in the morning on October 2, the date Khashoggi disappeared after entering the consulate to arrange papers for a marriage.

Saudi authorities have denied any foul play, calling the allegations "baseless".

The Washington Post reported Tuesday night, citing an unnamed person familiar with the information, that before Khashoggi's disappearance, American intelligence personnel "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him", in the Post's words.

The Post later said the team reportedly laid in wait for Khashoggi to enter the building.

"What happened to this respected and noble man, Jamal Khashoggi, is a crime of lowness, vulgar and treachery, and a crime against humanity, the right of the press, free of speech", he said.

The issue threatened the strong relationship the Trump administration has constructed with Mohammed Bin Salman.

The two sides have cooperated on challenging Iran, on supporting Israel and on the war against the Houthis.

But Prince Mohammed has drawn growing scrutiny over his campaign against critics.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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