Trump says getting closer to understanding Saudi journalist's disappearance

Erdogan, Trump step up pressure over missing Saudi journalist

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was looking into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi very closely and he had United States investigators involved in the case.

Saudi Arabia's denials that it had any role in Khashoggi's disappearance have fallen on deaf ears in Congress, with almost a quarter of the Senate triggering a USA investigation into the case. "We want to find out what happened".

Trump said the United States is doing well economically in part due to "what we are doing with our defense systems", and said, "frankly I think that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country".

Tawakkol Karman, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, holds a picture of missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi as she speaks to journalists near the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

"We are investigating all aspects of the event", Mr Erdogan said on Thursday, adding: "This is an incident which took place in our country; it is not possible for us to remain silent".

Although it is unclear where their information is coming from, the Turks say after Khashoggi was murdered, his body was dismembered by Saudi officials in the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

"We request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act", they added.

On Tuesday, The New York Times first reported that Turkish officials believed Khashoggi was assassinated under orders from senior members of the Saudi royal court.

Khashoggi hasn't been seen or heard from since entering the consulate last week.

Corker said that he had warned the kingdom that its political support in the Senate is "the lowest ever" and that if Saudi officials are responsible for Kashoggi's disappearance, "this would drop it off a cliff".

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The Post reported Wednesday evening that USA intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi.

Turkish media have identified more than a dozen suspects authorities believe killed a missing Saudi journalist inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul a week ago.

Khashoggi, 59, is a longtime leading Saudi journalist and former government advisor who went into exile last year after 33-year-old Prince Mohammed rose to power underneath his father the king.

Turkish security sources told TRT World that the "hit squad" took CCTV footage from the consulate with them when they left Turkey. Neoconservative Francis Fukuyama also echoed the demand of many progressive critics by demanding president's son-in-law and top Middle East advisor Jared Kushner, use his cozy relationship with MbS to get answers. The videos show one of two private jets arriving at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport early in the morning on October 2, the date Khashoggi disappeared after entering the consulate to arrange papers for a marriage.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegation it abducted or harmed Khashoggi "baseless".

The Kentucky Republican said he hopes Trump will support stronger measures against Saudi Arabia "if there is any evidence they killed this journalist".

"White House National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton, and White House Senior Advisor, Jared Kushner, spoke to Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman yesterday about the missing Washington Post journalist", she said on October 10. Turkish officials quoted in media have said he was killed but Riyadh denies that. "We will probably know in the very short future".

Khashoggi had, however, voiced distrust of the Saudi officials, and said they were unlikely to keep their words.

He continued: "Part of that is what we're doing with our defense systems and everybody's wanting them".

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