Trump suggests ‘rogue killers’ in writer case

Trump sending Pompeo 'immediately' to meet Saudi king over missing journalist

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government and in particular Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the consulate on October 2 to get paperwork for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman. "US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo "thanked the King for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation" of the Khashoggi case and expressed "concern" about the case to the foreign minister".

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family but fell out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile.

Asked if he had reviewed the purported recording of Khashoggi's killing, Trump told reporters on Saturday: "I have not".

One source cautioned that the report was still being prepared and could change, CNN said on Monday. The Saudi government, it said, would shield the prince by blaming an intelligence official for the bungled operation.

While organizers said Monday the conference will go on, the Saudis canceled an annual diplomatic reception in Washington set for later this week.

It comes after oil prices rose following Saudi Arabia's thinly veiled threat yesterday to cut production if the United States imposes sanctions amid growing global tension over the disappearance.

His tweet comes as Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Turkish investigators to search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Monday, 13 days after Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, vanished upon entering the mission, three Turkish officials said. They provided no further details.

The disappearance caused tension between usual allies Washington and Riyadh, with Donald Trump promising severe punishment for Saudi Arabia if an assassination is proven.

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Trump has been under pressure to take action on the suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who has been living and writing in the United States, including columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He offered no evidence to support his theory. Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump for using the term "rogue killers".

Late in the day, there were published reports that the Saudis were preparing to concede that Khashoggi, a USA -based Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, had been killed in an interrogation gone wrong. Although officials agreed to the investigation, Whitson said that the message from the Saudi government is clear. He said in Georgia that Pompeo may add a stop in Turkey.

A team of cleaners entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul today - just hours before Turkish officials will be escorted around by Saudis in a joint inspection over the disappearance.

Khashoggi, who recently has been living in Virginia and writing columns for The Washington Post, hasn't been seen since October 2, when he entered the Saudi Consulate to handle paperwork for his upcoming marriage.

"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be hard, but we believe we will obtain evidence", a Turkish official told Reuters.

King Salman also ordered prosecutors to launch an internal Saudi probe.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation.

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