Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Faces Increasing Scrutiny As Crises Mount
12 October, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Darnell Patrick
Trump expressed reservations over calls to withhold further USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia, saying such a move "would be hurting us".
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and Saudi journalist who has been critical of the Saudi government, has been missing since he entered the Saudi embassy in Turkey on October 2. Saudi royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert were part of a 15-member team from the kingdom that targeted Khashoggi, Turkish media reported Thursday. Saudi Arabia officials said that he had left the building, but have not provided evidence.
Surveillance footage released by the Turkish government shows Khashoggi entering the consulate, but they say there is no evidence he left afterward, leading Turkish officials to say they believe he was killed.
Khashoggi went to the consulate to take care of some paperwork for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish national.
Information continues to trickle out through Turkish media about the 15-man Saudi team previously described as an "assassination squad". He also said the USA was working "very closely" with Turkey, "and I think we'll get to the bottom of it".
Self-exiled Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi said earlier this year that the Saudi government has been moving toward nationalist radicalism.
"We want to see what's going on there", he said.
Trump also spoke about the disappearance while being interviewed on the Fox & Friends program on Thursday, saying the U.S.is being "very tough" as it looks into the case. And we're probably getting closer than you might think. Trying to stay calm, I immediately called Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one of Jamal's oldest friends.
Trump said he wanted to find out what happened to Khashoggi but appeared reluctant to consider blocking arms sales, citing economic reasons.
Khashoggi, a wealthy former government insider who had been living in the U.S.in self-imposed exile, had gone to the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get paperwork he needed for his upcoming marriage while his Turkish fiancee waited outside. There are also reports that Turkish intelligence is in possession of a video showing Khashoggi's murder.
A source told the Washington Post that United States intelligence "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him". Trump said that Khashoggi's fiancée had sent him a letter and may come to the White House soon.
WWE's continued business in Saudi Arabia remains a hot-button topic in professional wrestling, particularly with Crown Jewel (2 November) right around the corner, and PWTorch.com's Wade Keller has this week highlighted a damning new Washington Post article on current USA/Saudi relations.
The Trump administration sharply upped the pressure, reversing an initially low key response after Washington Post contributor Khashoggi vanished on Oct 2. "I mean, there's no question about it", Corker said, The Hill reported.
President Trump revealed the U.S. has investigators looking into how a journalist went missing last week after entering the Saudi Consulate in Turkey and said it would be a "very sad thing" if the kingdom's crown prince hatched the plot. According to some reports, Ankara is considering the options of recalling its ambassador from Riyadh and expelling the Saudi envoy if the Saudis fail to provide a satisfactory explanation on Khashoggi's fate "within several days".
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy voiced doubt there would be support in Congress to approve another arms sale to Saudi Arabia - although lawmakers haven't blocked sales before.
As CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reports, a U.S. State Department spokesperson has denied the U.S. had any prior knowledge of a plot against Khashoggi.
"We are very very disturbed" by Khashoggi's disappearance", said Code Pink founder Meda Benjamin.
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