President Trump says Saudi King Salman ‘denies any knowledge’ about journalist’s fate

Frederick Owens
October 16, 2018

President Trump raised the possibility today that "rogue killers" were behind the Saudi journalist's disappearance, not the kingdom's leaders. Trump said, "He didn't really know".

Trump told journalists. "We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but (King Salman's) was a flat denial".

Trump has been under pressure to take action on the suspected murder of journalist Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who has been living and writing in the United States, including columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

President Donald Trump is suggesting that "rogue killers" may be responsible for whatever happened to missing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish officials say Khashoggi, 59, was killed when he entered the consulate and his body was removed from the country by a Saudi hit team that arrived in Turkey the same day.

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced on Monday that he plans to reintroduce his resolution to bring an immediate halt to USA complicity in Saudi Arabia's massacre of Yemeni civilians, with the goal of forcing senators who have expressed fury at Khashoggi's murder to finally act on their indignant words.

Us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is flying to Saudi Arabia immediately.

More news: Jamal Khashoggi case: 'Credible' probe needed over missing writer

But the president has also said "we would be punishing ourselves" by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake, members of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Congress is prepared to move quickly and firmly if Trump fails to adequately respond to the October 2 disappearance of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor. "And incidentally in this whole case of Khashoggi, [Turkish President Recep] Erdogan doesn't come into this case with what we used to say 'clean hands.' He has a awful human rights record".

Turkish officials say they believe Saudi agents killed and dismembered Khashoggi and say Turkey has audio and video recordings of it. Saudi Arabia has called the allegations "baseless" but has offered no evidence the writer left the consulate.

The source said it would be a joint search with the Saudi authorities.

Flake said if the Saudis did, in fact, kill Khashoggi, Congress might specifically curtail USA military aid to Saudi-led forces in Yemen.

On Monday, King Salman ordered an investigation into the case. The foreign minister of the neighbouring island kingdom of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, tweeted Sunday night that there should be a boycott of the ride-hailing app both there and in Saudi Arabia.

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