Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pompeo Warns Saudi Prince His Future as King in Peril Over Khashoggi

Pompeo Warns Saudi Prince His Future as King in Peril Over Khashoggi

Gruesome details are emerging in the suspected killing of a Washington Post columnist, who went missing more than two weeks ago in Istanbul.

In an interview with Fox News, a prominent Trump ally in the Senate called on Saudi Arabia to reject the crown prince, known as MBS, who rose to power previous year and has aggressively sought to soften the kingdom's image overseas and attract foreign investment.

Turkish officials have said journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudis' Istanbul consulate.

When questioned on what he would do if the Saudi investigation showed that Saudi leaders King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were responsible, Trump told Fox Business in an earlier interview, "Well, I hope we're going to be on the better side of the equation".

Confirming that the tape has been requested, Mr Trump added: "I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does".

The newspaper said one of the Saudis torturing Mr. Khashoggi replied: "Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia".

According to the latest reports, the Saudi journalist was assassinated by a squad that included agents tied to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a powerful figure in the Saudi royal family and lynchpin in the trend toward ever-tightening relations with Trump's White House. Erdogan said there had been "a couple of delays", according to Pompeo, but the Turks feel confident now the Saudis will admit them to the consulate to perform their investigation. US intelligence documents obtained by the Post indicated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered an effort to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo went on to tell the prince "bluntly that if they don't, the United States will have to deal with this", the source said, and "will take action because the world will demand it and that President Trump's hand will be forced by the global pressure". "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent".

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In that case, he said, "I think we'll also be guided by what other countries are doing".

Mr. Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman and his son, the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Tuesday. Security assistance and arms sales can only resume, the bill says, if the secretary of state "determines and certifies" that the Saudi government did not carry out or order the kidnapping and/or death of Khashoggi.

Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and say that he left the consulate soon after arriving.

Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) and other influential politicians warned of dire consequences on Tuesday, saying the prince, often known as MBS for short, should be removed from his post.

Global leaders and business executives are severing or rethinking ties to the Saudi government after Khashoggi's high-profile disappearance.

Mr Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and United States resident, has been missing since 2 October when he visited the Saudi consulate to obtain documents he needed to get married.

"The Saudis have been great partners in working alongside us on these issues", Pompeo said. Not a positive. Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he's dead. At first, Jamal Khashoggi was just missing, then a photograph of him entering the Istanbul consulate appeared.

A State Department spokeswoman said Pompeo had not heard any audio recording purporting to indicate Khashoggi was killed.

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