Trump Asks Turkey for Audio, Video Evidence on Khashoggi

Jermaine Castillo
October 18, 2018

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.

But he refused to say whether he thought Khashoggi was alive or dead or who could be responsible.

On Monday, CNN cited two sources as saying the Saudis are preparing a report that Mr Khashoggi's death resulted from a botched interrogation, while The Wall Street Journal said the kingdom was weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Mr Khashoggi by mistake.

Earlier Erdogan said that the Turkish intelligence is investigating the disappearance of the Saudi reporter Khashoggi.

On Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told the AP that police found "certain evidence" of Mr. Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate, without elaborating.

Another Turkish newspaper, Sabah, has published the names and CCTV pictures of the 15 men who allegedly made a one-day trip to Istanbul on the day Mr Khashoggi disappeared.

A United States resident, Khashoggi vanished during a visit to the consulate on October 2 to collect marriage documents.

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"Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent", Trump told The Associated Press.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met the Saudi king and crown prince on Tuesday to discuss the disappearance of Khashoggi.

The woman, who is a Turkish citizen, called police when Khashoggi did not emerge at 5 p.m., after the consulate had officially closed.

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia in the fight against terrorism and that he did not want to walk away from the Kingdom.

Pompeo "also thanked the King for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation of Khashoggi's disappearance", the statement read.

Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia for meetings with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

But it was delayed because no Saudi official was present for the joint investigation, the Turkish official added.

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U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) called for the suspension of arms sales, as well as for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to drop out of a Saudi investment conference in Riyadh scheduled for next week.

Pro-government Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported it had heard audio recordings of Khashoggi being tortured during an interrogation, having his fingers cut off and then being decapitated.

But Pompeo declared he did not want "to talk about any of the facts", while President Donald Trump said innocence must be presumed, drawing a parallel with his US Supreme Court judge nominee who faced sexual assault accusations. He's going to probably over the next couple of hours - sometime prior to your show, but he will be getting back to me.

In an editorial headlined "Why is the Trump administration cleaning up Saudi Arabia's mess?" the paper backed calls by United Nations officials for an independent global commission into the disappearance of the journalist earlier this month, which has tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"I've been their biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate", Graham said of the country, which has always been an ally of the United States despite its human rights abuses.

It was the second-such extraordinary search of land considered under global law to be Saudi sovereign soil after Turkish police searched the consulate through the early morning on Tuesday.

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