Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Khashoggi disappearance

  • In World/Europe
  • 2018-10-15 14:29:06Z
  • By By Roberta Rampton

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday dispatched U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman over the unexplained disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and raised the possibility that "rogue killers" could have been responsible.

Trump said he spoke to the Saudi king for about 20 minutes about Khashoggi, who disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, and that it sounded like neither the king nor Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had knowledge about the incident.

Turkish sources have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the building and his body removed, allegations that Riyadh dismisses as baseless.

"I sounded to me like maybe there could have been rogue killers. Who knows?" Trump told reporters at the White House. He offered no evidence for why he thought rogue killers might be involved.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Pompeo will travel to Riyadh, the U.S. State Department said,

"The president has called for a prompt and open investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi," department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

"We are going to leave nothing uncovered," Trump told reporters.

Salman's denial, however, "could not have been stronger," he added.

At the weekend, Trump threatened "severe punishment" for Riyadh if it turned out Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi authorities and a legal resident of the United States, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia, in turn, threatened to retaliate.

But Trump has said he is wary of halting U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia over the incident.

Earlier on Monday, Salman ordered an internal probe into Khashoggi's disappearance while a joint Turkish-Saudi team was set to search the consulate.

Trump said the king told him on Monday that the two countries were working very closely on the case.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alistair Bell)


More Related News

U.S. sanctions 17 Saudis over killing of journalist Khashoggi
U.S. sanctions 17 Saudis over killing of journalist Khashoggi
  • World
  • 2018-11-15 18:51:01Z

Among those sanctioned were Saud al-Qahtani, who has been removed from his position as a top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as the Saudi Consul General Mohammed Alotaibi and members of a 15-person team Turkey has identified as being involved in Khashoggi's death. The announcement

Saudi prosecutor exonerates crown prince in Khashoggi murder
Saudi prosecutor exonerates crown prince in Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia Thursday called for the death penalty against five people accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, but absolved the crown prince of any blame. Khashoggi, the Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was drugged and his body dismembered, a spokesman for the public prosecutor said, in the first Saudi confirmation of how the journalist died.

Saudi public prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi murder case
Saudi public prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi murder case
  • World
  • 2018-11-15 11:23:41Z

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policy, was killed in the country's Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2, after a struggle, by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, deputy public prosecutor and spokesman Shaalan al-Shaalan told reporters. The whereabouts

Turkey: 'Atrocious' recording suggests killer used drugs

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - The audio recording of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is so "atrocious" that a Saudi intelligence official who heard it speculated that "only someone who took heroin" could carry it out, Turkey's president was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Turkey's Erdogan says Khashoggi recordings 'appalling', shocked Saudi intelligence
  • World
  • 2018-11-13 11:58:42Z

Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 in a hit which Erdogan says was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government. Erdogan told reporters on his plane returning from a weekend

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Europe

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.