Trump says Mohammad bin Salman could be behind murder of Khashoggi

Turkish Leader: 'Savage' Murder Can't Go Unpunished

"There will be no rift with Turkey in the presence of King Salman, his Crown Prince and President Erdogan", he said.

But Trump suggested that responsibility lay higher up: "Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage".

The Saudi government said on Tuesday that a 15-member squad was sent to take Khashoggi to a safehouse to try and convince him to go back to Saudi Arabia.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a sharp rebuttal of Saudi Arabia's widely-criticised account that the writer for The Washington Post died accidentally in a brawl. "And as facts unfold, as we continue to develop our understanding of the individuals that were responsible for this, who not only executed it but led and were involved and were connected to it, the world should know that we intend to hold those individuals accountable when we develop that fact set", Pompeo said.

"Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a ferocious murder", Erdogan said, underlining that his killing was not accidental, but meticulously planned.

The well was at centre of speculation yesterday that it may contain body parts belonging to the journalist.

He confirmed Khashoggi was killed in a vicious manner in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and said the killing was pre-meditated at the direction of Saudi officials.

Most recently, Trump called Riyadh "a very good ally of ours", adding that it has "been helping us a lot with respect to Israel".

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was last seen October 2 walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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The kingdom's announcement that Khashoggi died in a "fistfight" was met with worldwide skepticism and allegations of a cover-up to absolve the 33-year-old crown prince of direct responsibility.

"I want to convey them a message: they will not be able to do so as long as there is a Saudi king called Salman, and crown prince named Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and a Turkish president named Erdogan", he said. The journalist has relatives still living in Saudi Arabia and three children who hold United States citizenship.

The report said a friend of the Khashoggi family had told the Associated Press that Salah had come under a travel ban since his father had began writing critically about the prince for The Washington Post.

He continued: "This murder may have been committed on Saudi soil, however this was inside Turkish borders".

But the president appeared more open on Tuesday to punishing the Saudi government, telling reporters in the Oval Office he would consider jeopardizing military sales if the Saudi government was officially behind the killing.

Trump on Tuesday said he'd leave any ramifications against the Saudis for Khashoggi's death up to Congress. "We expect the same sensitivity from all parties, primarily the Saudi Arabian leadership", he said.

Three weeks since Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen living in self-imposed exile, disappeared after walking into the consulate to get some marriage documents the crisis shows no signs of abating.

"Why did these 15 people meet in Istanbul on the day of the murder?"

"We have to ask ourselves the question of what that means for our bilateral relations".

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