Saudi team after Post writer included soldiers, royal guards

Government sources said at the weekend that police believed Khashoggi was killed by a team specially sent to Istanbul

The Post, citing anonymous USA officials familiar with the intelligence, said Prince Mohammed ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi from his home in Virginia, where he lived most recently, to Saudi Arabia and then detain him.

"Well, I think that would be hurting us", Trump said.

"It's a very sad situation, it's a very bad situation and we want to get to the bottom of it", said the president.

A demonstrator holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2018.

"To me, this is just one more reason why we should be very suspect about selling arms to the Saudis", Paul, R-Ky., said in a Fox News interview.

Earlier Thursday on "Fox & Friends", President Trump said US investigators are working with Turkish authorities and the Saudis to find Khashoggi. "Now, as you know, they're saying 'We had nothing to do with it.' But so far everyone's saying they had nothing to do with it".

When asked about a Post report that USA intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi Trump said "It would be a very sad thing and we will probably know in the very short future".

A team of investigators is preparing to go into the consulate, where Khashoggi was last seen entering nine days ago, a Turkish security official told Reuters.

Erdogan also questioned assertions by Saudi authorities that the diplomatic mission does not have footage of Khashoggi's exit, asking, "Is it possible for there to be no camera systems at the Saudi Arabia consulate, where the event took place?"

There was a detailed plan to entice Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, according to the Post, which cites intelligence documents outlined by USA officials.

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Turkish officials say a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist, and then killed and dismembered him.

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and said he left the consulate shortly after he entered last Tuesday.

The issue threatened the strong relationship the Trump administration has constructed with Mohammed Bin Salman.

Khashoggi's fiancé Khadija Cengiz has broken her silence over the disappearance of the Saudi critic. The silent video also showed one of two private Gulfstream jets that Turkish media said carried the Saudi group, who flew in and out of Istanbul the day Khashoggi disappeared.

Kaye spoke to The Associated Press moments after he and two colleagues called for an worldwide, independent investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"It's not intended though as a shot at them, it's meant to put in place.it's the forcing mechanism to ensure that we use all the resources available to get the bottom of this and if in fact at the very highest levels of Saudi Arabia they have been involved in doing this, that appropriate steps will be taken to sanction them", Corker added.

On his first global trip as president, Mr Trump visited Saudi Arabia and announced $US110 billion in proposed arms sales.

"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.

Ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been tense over regional political differences, although the kingdom is a major investor in the Turkish economy. The administration's Middle East agenda heavily depends on the Saudis, including efforts to counter Iranian influence in the region, fight extremism and build support for an expected plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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