Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Trump says he's spoken with Saudis at 'highest level' over Khashoggi

Trump says he's spoken with Saudis at 'highest level' over Khashoggi

"Although this incident could potentially fuel a political crisis between the two nations, let us not lose sight of the human aspect of what happened", she wrote. "We have jobs, we have a lot of things happening in this country".

Saudi Arabia denies involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, and the Trump's administration's response has been far more cautious than that coming from Capitol Hill.

The Washington Post said it has repeatedly asked the Saudi and Turkish governments for information about Khashoggi's whereabouts and has not received any satisfactory answers.

"Frankly I think that would be a very very tough pill to swallow for our country".

Erdogan said Saudi officials need to prove that Khashoggi left the building.

Trump, who took his first overseas trip as US president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said Tuesday he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi, "but I will be at some point", without elaborating.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a longtime critic of the Saudi government, has said he'll try to force a vote in the Senate blocking USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Sen.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday authorities would search the Saudi consulate, but there have been no details about when such a search would take place.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that the U.S. would continue to inquire about the fate of the journalist.

Khashoggi's fiance Cengiz was surprised when an American friend told her of Trump's comment about inviting her to the White House, the friend told Reuters.

But she also implored "President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance".

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Cengiz did not see him re-emerge, although Saudi officials said he left the consulate shortly after visiting.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that US intelligence had intercepted the communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, citing an unidentified person familiar with the information.

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino earlier insisted that the United States had no forewarning of any concrete threat to Khashoggi.

Turkish officials have said they believe the Saudi writer and government critic was killed inside his country's consulate in Istanbul after he visited the mission to obtain a document required to marry his Turkish fiance.

"Although I can't go into intelligence matters, I can definitively say that we had no knowledge in advance of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance", Palladino told reporters.

Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia previous year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Riyadh over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then he wrote columns for the Washington Post.

"Riyadh is our only rational (Arab) partner because they agree with most of our long-term goals", said Hussein Ibish, with the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. "To feels very much some nefarious activity has occurred by them. But I don't want to rush to judgment", Corker said on Tuesday.

A key USA lawmaker, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, told VOA the unfolding drama could significantly affect US relations with Saudi Arabia, long an American ally in the Middle East.

They reportedly took CCTV footage from the consulate with them back to Riyadh, while Turkish staff at the consulate were told to take holiday the day Khashoggi arrived. It said they checked into two hotels in Istanbul on October 2 and left later that day.

One of the men identified by name and photo in the Sabah report is a Saudi forensic expert, according to Saudi media reports, and is on the board of the Saudi Society of Forensic Medicine.

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