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Jamal Khashoggi: Pompeo meets with Saudi King, Crown's Prince over journalist's disappearance



Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presses Saudi leaders Tuesday, March 24, 2009 Kamal Khashoggi even as Turkish officials sue ,

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied it has come.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied it any hand in the fate of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist who had been critical of the Saudi leadership. But international pressure – led by Turkey's probes –

The clash appeared to deepen. The Associated Press, kiting Turkish police sources, reported the evidence Khohoggi.

The AP report could not have been confirmed and it gave no specific details on the evidence collected.

But it reflected Turkey's efforts to build its case against Saudi Arabia and possible influence commercial and political ties with the kingdom. Saudi Arabia next week.

Amid the fallout, Turkish officials therefore told the BBC that the Saudi consul general in Istanbul returned to Riyadh as the latest top Saudi diplomat to

Meanwhile, Pompeo was handed over to Saudi President Salman, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and the kingdom's de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Secretary Pompeo conveyed the importance of conducting a thorough, transparent and timely investigation," said Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman.

Named Pompeo called Trump and National Security adviser John Bolton to update them on the meetings

"While the United States has become a member of Saudi leadership, learning what happened to Jamal Khashog gi is the primary purpose of this trip and is of great interest to the president, "Nauert said. "The secretary has made that clear in each of his meetings today."

In public, however, Pompeo never spoke the name of Khashoggi, a.

"We are strong and old allies," the crown prince was told Pompeo before reporters were ushered out.

Pompeo replied with enthusiasm: "Absolutely."

Throughout the day, his aides offered the Saudis may be prepared to change their story and acknowledge Khashogg is dead.

In Istanbul, it was unclear what possible clues were found by the Turkish forensic team. [19659021] Hours before they arrived, journalists photographed a cleaning crew. When investigators entered the consulate, they "smelled chemicals have been used," according to two officials in contact with the investigators.

The officials began to predict the death of Khashoggi and claim it was "botched operation."

Over the past few days, Saudi officials have discussed issuing a statement that, in part, would mention a botched operation and call for the punctuation of culpable officials, according to another person with knowledge of the discussions.

Salman called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on sunday.

Khashoggi's disappearance, a Saudi statement said.

Speaking to reporters, Trump said Monday that he had talked for about 20 minutes with the king and that Salman had firmly denied the kingdom's involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

"I do not want to get into his mind, but it sounded like me," Trump added. "Who knows?

It's not clear whether Trump's mention of "rogue killers" was his own speculation, a theory he had heard from the

A Trump political ally, Sen. Lindsey O.

Trump had previously been warned of "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia. Graham (RS.C.), pushing even harder Tuesday, calling the Saudi crown prince "toxic" and saying: "This guy has got to go."

Graham's comments, on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends," underscored the apparent frustration by some in Congress over the 33-year-old crown prince and his crackdowns on dissent.

"He had this guy murdered in the consulate in Turkey. Expect me to ignore it? I feel used and abused, "Graham said, referring to his previous advocacy for Saudi Arabia as a senator. Saudi Arabia because they are a good ally. "

Turkish officials have released details of their investigation, including video that suggests a team of Saudi agents to dispatch Khashoggi or kill him.

The Turkish government has also told the Trump administration that it has audio and video recordings of what has occurred inside the consulate that day. U.S. Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and then killed.

Cunningham reported from Istanbul. Kareem Fahim and Souad Mekhennet in Istanbul and John Wagner in Washington contributed to this report.


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