Trump asks Turkey for any recorded evidence of Khashoggi’s fate

TURKEY-SAUDI-US-POLITICS-MEDIA-INVESTIGATION

The Times reporters say that, according to Khashoggi's friends, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Washington Post published a column it received from his assistant after he was reported missing in which Khashoggi condemns the crackdown on journalists by Arab governments and the failure of the global community to respond.

"I do think it's important that everyone. keep in their mind that we have lots of important relationships - financial relationships between USA and Saudi companies, governmental relationship, things we work on together all across the world", Pompeo said. Now I have to accept: "That is not going to happen".

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul.

It has been two weeks since the Washington Post contributor and Virginia resident, a critic of the current Saudi leadership, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork he needed for his marriage.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured before being decapitated inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, the progovernment daily paper Yeni Safak reported on Wednesday, saying it had heard audio recordings of the incident. The Saudi government has denied any involvement.

Khashoggi noted how some journalists were imprisoned for speaking out against Arab governments as leaders exercised an apparent "free rein" to silence the media.

"They are hesitant to provide a platform for journalists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen". Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance.

Khashoggi provided examples of crackdowns on the free press in the Arab world, actions he said prevent citizens from knowing the true facts and coming to their own conclusions on issues.

US President Donald Trump gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt on Tuesday even as US lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership and Pompeo discussed the affair with Saudi King Salman and his Crown Prince in Riyadh.

President Trump met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday following Pompeo's fact-finding trip to Riyadh and Ankara.

Turkish sources have told Reuters the authorities have an audio recording indicating Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. But the president has since floated an alternative theory involving "rogue killers" and compared the case to the sexual assault allegations against recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

According to a Tuesday New York Times report, an unnamed official told the outlet that "the timing of this was no coincidence". When asked on Wednesday if he was covering up for bin Salman, Trump said: "No, not at all, I just want to find out what's happening".

Dr Fox's withdrawal leaves Steve Mnuchen, the United States treasury secretary, as one of the last Western officials still scheduled to attend the conference after wave of cancellations.

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.

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