Trump offers ‘rogue killers’ theory, sends Pompeo to Saudi Arabia

Khashoggi,Jamal Khashoggi,Saudi journalist

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

"It's being investigated, it's being looked at very, very strongly", Trump said, after CBS's Lesley Stahl asked whether the Saudis had murdered Khashoggi. This person cautioned that the decision is ultimately up to Trump.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, has whipped up global concern, with new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman increasingly the focus of sharp criticism.

US President Donald Trump said he's immediately sending secretary of state Michael Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and suggested that "rogue killers" might be behind the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

One of the sources acknowledged that the report is still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.

Saudi newspapers have published aggressive front-page headlines, mirroring a statement by the kingdom warning that it won't be threatened amid concerns about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

His comments were followed a day later by Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who tweeted that his country always stands by Saudi Arabia "because it is a stand with honour, glory, stability and hope".

It's also spooked major foreign investors, several of whom have withdrawn from the prince's flagship investment conference in Riyadh this month.

A section on the glitzy event website with pictures of the speakers has now been taken down.

The moves by the USA executives follow similar withdrawals from the event by JP Morgan & Chase Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Co Chairman Bill Ford on Sunday. Prince Mohammed told Reuters in October 2017 that Blackstone, Schwarzman's firm, and BlackRock, Fink's firm, committed to opening offices in Riyadh.

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Former Army general and Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus, who now chairs the KKR Global Institute, has also withdrawn, according to a company spokesperson. One security official told The New York Times that a squad of 15 Saudi men arrived in Istanbul and killed Khashoggi. Turkish authorities have said he was killed there, a claim that the Saudis have vehemently denied.

Investigators entered the building in Istanbul on Monday afternoon - first a Saudi team followed roughly an hour later by Turkish forensic police.

But White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says the conference will deal with terrorist financing and how to stop it, and that "at the moment", Mnuchin intends to go.

"There's something really bad and disgusting about that, if that were the case".

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russian Federation or they're going to buy it from China or they're going to buy it from other countries", Trump said at a news conference on Saturday.

President Donald Trump has said he has spoken with Saudi Arabia's king, who "denies any knowledge" of what happened to the Saudi journalist who disappeared after entering the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul last week. While lurid claims have appeared in Turkish media - including that Khashoggi was tortured and dismembered - Turkey's leadership has so far refrained from pointing the finger directly at Riyadh in public comments. "We want to find out what happened. This is very important to get to the bottom of it", Trump said.

Before Monday Trump had focused less on possible explanations for Khashoggi's likely demise than on possible punishment if the Saudis were found culpable.

On Sunday, a Treasury Department spokesman told CNN, "We will be evaluating the information that comes out this week".

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