Pompeo sees 'serious commitment' from Saudis on missing journalist

Trump Speaks to Saudi King, Sends Pompeo for Follow-Up

In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Trump compared the case of Khashoggi to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

Khashoggi had left the country past year amid the rise of Prince Mohammed, whom he wrote critically about in the Post.

Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi leadership, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to sort out paperwork for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman. Erdogan said toxic material was found which had been "painted over".

Turkish investigators entered the Saudi consul's residence on Wednesday after delays.

Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesCrown Prince Mohammed bin Salman traveled with his security detail Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb on several occasions; here they are in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 25, 2018.

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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Tuesday the USA should "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" over the incident and said he would never again work with the crown prince, assailing him as "toxic" and calling him a "wrecking ball".

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the USA needs Saudi Arabia in the fight against terrorism and that he did not want to walk away from the Kingdom.

While Pompeo was in Riyadh, Trump said on Twitter that he had talked with the crown prince, the country's de facto leader, "who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish consulate". "I think we have to find out what happened first". "They didn't want to either, and they want to have the opportunity to complete this investigation in a thorough way".

Pompeo held 40 minutes of talks at the airport with Erdogan, whose government has echoed the American reticence to disclose details or make accusations. The secretary of state also met with Cavusoglu on Wednesday, the news agency says.

"I have my own opinions". But the royal family will insist more than a dozen operatives flown to Turkey were not authorized to kill him and cut him up, and will call that "rogue" behavior - a concept for which Trump played canary in the coal mine one day earlier in a pop-up presser on the White House lawn.

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Asked whether he'd instructed the FBI to investigate the case, Trump responded: "I'm not going to tell you". "I don't like that".

The Saudis have strongly denied those allegations, but United States media outlets have reported they will acknowledge he was killed in a botched interrogation. However there has yet to be any sign of this being published.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was decapitated on October 2 inside his country's consulate in Istanbul after torture during which his fingers were cut off, according to media reports citing an audio recording of the brutal execution.

The newspaper said Saudi Consul General Mohammed al Otaibi could be heard on the tape, telling those allegedly torturing Khashoggi: "Do this outside; you're going to get me in trouble".

President Donald Trump's previous warnings over the case drew an angry response Sunday from Saudi Arabia and its state-linked media, including a suggestion that Riyadh could wield its oil production as a weapon.

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"If you want to live when you come back to Arabia, shut up", one of the agents replied, according to both the official and the newspaper. The consul-general had left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.

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