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Trump reluctant to abandon Riyadh over journalist disappearance, wants to see evidence

Trump reluctant to abandon Riyadh over journalist disappearance, wants to see evidence

The government's tentative explanation comports with comments Mr. Trump made Monday, after speaking to Saudi King Salman: "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", the president said.

On a plane back home, Pompeo said Erdogan "made clear that the Saudis had cooperated with the investigation that the Turks are engaged in and they are going to share information".

Crime-scene technicians wore white coveralls, gloves and shoe covers entering the residence.

Trump, who threatened punishment for Saudi Arabia when Khashoggi's disappearance first came to light two weeks ago, has repeatedly noted Saudi leaders' denials since then and insisted the USA must know the facts before taking action.

That attitude does not appear to be shared with Congress, as one prominent Republican senator said he believed that the crown prince, widely known as MBS, had Mr Khashoggi "murdered".

Turkish officials spoke to several media outlets on Tuesday, claiming to have audio tapes that capture Saudi officials taking part in the gruesome torture-murder of Khashoggi.

Trump also said "that would be bad" if Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince knew about the suspected killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate.

The president repeatedly touted the denials by Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince of any involvement in Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance from the consulate.

"Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent", he said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Turkey amid a growing diplomatic crisis over the disappearance there earlier this month of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post journalist has not been seen since he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.




A report by CNN quoted two sources as saying that the Saudi side is preparing a report to acknowledge that the interrogation of Khashoggi had been meant to abduct him from Turkey, but went wrong and lead to his death.

Pompeo met Turkey's president and foreign minister to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, a day after Trump gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt while United States lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls for a "thorough" and "transparent" probe by Washington's ally Saudi Arabia.

President Trump apparently phoned in while Pompeo was meeting with the crown prince.

The dissident journalist was killed minutes after he arrived at the building to pick up marriage paperwork on 2 October, according to United States and Turkish press reports of what the officials say are audio recordings that prove he was beaten and drugged, then brutally killed and dismembered.

An entirely separate narrative within Khashoggi's disappearance is the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Turkish authorities have already said they have audio evidence pointing to the murder.

However, he refused to list what measures he would take, only saying that he would not choose to impose sanctions on the country for fear of losing its military sales orders with USA companies.

"My assessment from these meetings is that there is a serious commitment to determine all the facts and ensure accountability, including accountability for Saudi Arabia's senior leaders or senior officials", Pompeo said in a statement.

Security services in Turkey have used pro-government media to leak details of Mr Khashoggi's case, adding to pressure on the kingdom. "I have strong opinions but that (the investigation) is the job of the judiciary", he said.

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