Top Trump Officials Talk with Saudi Crown Prince about Missing Journalist

Andrew Cummings
October 11, 2018

"That's a bad situation. We can not let this happen, to reporters, to anyone". "We can't let this happen".

The president had been criticised for his mild response to the disappearance of the journalist, with members of Congress imploring his administration try to get to the bottom of the disappearance.

Twenty-two senators wrote to Trump invoking the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which requires the president to open an investigation and determine whether sanctions should be imposed.

Turkish media outlets, as well as The Post, published photos and a video of an alleged Saudi "assassination squad" that traveled to Turkey last week and was at the Saudi Consulate at the same time that Mr. Khashoggi visited the diplomatic post. "I miss my country very much. I don't want to prejudge, but if it goes down the road that I'm anxious about it going down, contempt will be met with contempt", he said.

The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, described the allegations as "malicious leaks and grim rumors" and said the kingdom is "gravely concerned" about Khashoggi.

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, sought to lure missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

He added that the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis have said that concrete steps will be taken in the coming days. "We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as available", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

In an account published Wednesday, Nuzzi details the many ways the top officials tried to convince her that there is no "chaos" in the White House. "I think she's in shock, now even more", her friend said.

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

But State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters they had no such tip.

"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 is a columnist for The Washington Post who had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States.

Britain's foreign minister called for urgent answers and the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, who has seen classified intelligence on the case, said information pointed to Khashoggi being killed. "But I don't want to rush to judgment", Corker said on Tuesday.

Later on Wednesday, almost a quarter of the Senate's members wrote a letter to Trump that triggered a USA investigation into the case that could result in sanctions against individual Saudis under a US human rights law.

The Times adds that "media reports have cited Turkish investigators as saying they believe he was killed soon after entering the building and his corpse cut to pieces and disposed of by an elite Saudi security team".

Sabah newspaper published the names and years of birth of 15 Saudis it said arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

Other reports by iNewsToday