Saudi Arabia confirms Khashoggi is dead, blaming 'fight' at consulate

The White House issues a statement on journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death

In the gravest embarrassment of its modern history, Saudi Arabia has admitted that its officials were responsible for the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul.

The White House said Saturday it was "saddened" after confirmation that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but made no mention of USA action against its major ally. "Jamal Khashoggi, resulted in his death".

Senator Rand Paul, a Tennessee Republican, agreed with Coffman in his own Twitter post, and renewed his call for a halt to US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The White House acknowledged the Saudis' announcement, stating that it would "continue to closely follow the worldwide investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process".

Castro later said on Twitter he "did not intend to accuse [Kushner] of orchestrating anything", yet noted the number of stories about the close relationship between the president's son-in-law and the Saudi crown prince. Trump said last week he saw no reason to cut off weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in response to Khashoggi's disappearance.

A total of 18 Saudi nationals have now been detained for investigation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Citing the Attorney General's Office, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said Khashoggi and the people who received him at the consulate got into an argument that turned violent, leading to the journalist's death. Turkish authorities launched an investigation, claiming they had found audio proof that a 15-man team of Saudi assassins tortured and killed the journalist in the consulate.

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A still image from a security cam claims to show Jamal Khashoggi arriving at Saudi Arabias consulate in Istanbul.

Initially the king, who has handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to his son, commonly known as MbS, was unaware of the extent of the crisis, according to two of the sources with knowledge of the Saudi royal court. Separately fired was Saud Qahtani, a powerful adviser to Prince Mohammed who led Saudi efforts to isolate Qatar amid a boycott of the country by the kingdom and three other Arab nations as part of a political dispute.

Sawers, who headed MI6 until 2014, added, "I think President Trump and his ministerial team are waking up to just how risky it is to have people acting with a sense that they have impunity in their relationship with the United States".

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.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, they've been a tremendous investor in the United States", Trump said, adding, "That's why this is so sad".

A police officer stands guard as a journalist holds a placard during a protest over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 19, 2018.

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