Pompeo: US response in Khashoggi case will await Saudi probe


On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said the United States has asked for the recording "if it exists".

Khashoggi, a former regime insider who became critical of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wrote articles for titles including the Washington Post.

On Wednesday, Trump denied he was covering up for the Saudi royals but at the same time pointed to their importance as strategic and commercial partners. "I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it is a pity that Mr Khashoggi has gone missing, but that Russia can not damage relations with Saudi Arabia without hard facts.

He said he was waiting for a report from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is meeting this week with both Turkish and Saudi leaders. "I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does", he said of the audio or video evidence.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and is feared dead.

In an earlier interview Tuesday with Fox News, Graham said he wants to see Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman forced out of his position. Many top business executives have pulled out of the conference, which Saudi Arabia had hoped to use to boost its global image.

Trump continued to stand by Saudi Arabia but said he is "not giving cover at all" to Riyadh, whom he repeatedly called a close United States ally. But the president has since floated an alternative theory involving "rogue killers" and compared the case to the sexual assault allegations against recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Earlier Wednesday, he told Fox Business that the USA relies on the kingdom to fight terrorism.

Saudi Arabia has said it would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions. "They didn't want to either, in that they want to have the opportunity to complete this investigation in a thorough way".

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The Washington Post published a column by Khashoggi it received from his assistant a day after he was reported missing.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Turkish investigators spent nearly nine hours searching the Saudi consul's residence, before moving on to the consulate itself about 200m away, according to Reuters news agency.

The newspaper said Khashoggi's torturers severed his fingers during the interrogation and later beheaded and dismembered him.

"There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen", Attiah wrote.

Saudi officials arrive at the residence of Saudi Arabia's Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi in Istanbul, Oct. 17, 2018.

Earlier this week, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, announced she would also not be going to the event.

Middle East experts said the timing of the transfer likely sent a clear message to the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, politicians from around the world have said they will not be attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week.

"He became really the senior forensic doctor in Saudi Arabia, he was head of the Saudi forensic medicine commission".

Trump defended himself on Monday, tweeting that "I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russian Federation, for that matter). I just think it's a mistake".