Trump Sending Pompeo to Riyadh for Talks on Missing Journalist

A security personnel stands at the entrance of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul Saturday Oct. 13

The Middle East Institute, a leading Washington, D.C., think tank, said Monday that it will stop accepting donations from Saudi Arabia pending the investigation into the disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate. The report was attributed to two unnamed sources.

He said he didn't think any government officials should go to Saudi Arabia, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's planned trip to an economic conference October 23, "until we know exactly what happened here". "But we want to find out what happened and he's got instructions to find out what happened".

Meanwhile, multiple media outlets reported that the Saudi government is considering whether to say that rogue intelligence operatives murdered activist and writer Jamal Khashoggi by mistake inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

In a telephone call made to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Trump also hailed the kingdom's keenness to clarify all relevant facts. "I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!"

October 10: Trump makes his first comments on Khashoggi's disappearance, saying he contacted the Saudis and invited Cengiz to the White House. "We're going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment".

Khashoggi, a USA resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago to get marriage documents. Turkish officials say they believe Saudi agents killed and dismembered Khashoggi and say Turkey has audio and video recordings of it.

Saudi Arabia calls the allegations "baseless" and says Khashoggi left the consulate on his own, although neither Turkey nor Saudi Arabia has provided clear evidence to support its version of events.

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The US State Department also has urged a thorough investigation into the disappearance.

Britain, Germany and France have jointly called for a "credible investigation, ' Egypt has backed Saudi Arabia and warned of "false claims" against its ally and Australia's foreign minister has said she is 'deeply concerned".

Prince Mohammed, 33, a son of King Salman, consolidated his control in June 2017 when he was named Crown Prince to replace his cousin, Mohammed Nayef, who was sacked.

Three high-profile Wall Street CEOs reportedly attempted to persuade Saudi officials to push back Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative conference. He and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, have forged close ties. Worldwide criticism of the Saudi government has been steadily amplifying, with threats of sanctions from the USA and calls from European nations for a full investigation into Khashoggi's fate.

It was the first time they had been allowed to enter the building since the journalist's disappearance following disagreements between the two sides over the terms of any search.

But Trump, who has frequently boasted about his business ties with the kingdom, suggested during the CBS interview that ending USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia would not be an option, saying, "I don't want to hurt jobs".

US President Donald Trump speculated that "rogue killers" may be responsible. USA intelligence officials have reported they are certain the interference took place in an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign.

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