Some members of Congress say the U.S. Must act against Saudi Arabia if the country's leaders are responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but they differ on exactly what that action would entail. (Oct. 17)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he told President Donald Trump on Thursday the US needs to give Saudi Arabia "a few more days" to investigate the fate of Jamal Khashoggi – a move that gives the royal family fresh leeway to counter the hard-to-defend allegations that Riyadh played in the disappearance and presumed slaying of the Saudi journalist.
Khashoggi is dead
There are lots of stories out there about what has happened, "he says. "Pompeo said.
It's been more than two weeks since Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident who obtained U.S.A. residency last year over fears for his safety, vanished shortly after visiting the kingdom's consulate in istanbul. Turkish user claim is gruesome audio and video recordings, described in Turkish media in recent days, that reveal Khashoggi was beheaded and dismissed within minutes of entering the compound.
Pompeo on the way to the Saudi and Turkish capital to the claims in a case that piled pressure on the Trump administration over its apparent skepticism of the Turkish claims. Trump said: "If it exists."
Trump added: "I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does. "
The president also disputes claims he is" giving cover "to Saudi Arabia, a US ally with whom Washington cooperates on oil, anti-terrorism, arms sales and that acts as a bulwark against the US's regional enemy, Iran. "I want to find out what happened, where is the fault, and we will probably Mike Pompeo is coming back, "said Trump.
In the midst of diplomatic crisis, Saudi Arabia transferred $ 100 million to the State Department – a long-promised contribution to help stabilize parts of Syria that have been liberated from ISIS
It came just as Pompeo landed in Riyadh to meet with Saudi officials on the Khashoggi case.
"We always expected the contribution to." be finalized in the timeframe case, "said Dan McGurk, the president's special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
The Saudi made $ 100 pledge in August, and McGurk did in Riyadh on Friday working to finalize the transfer ,
Trump previously floated the idea Khashoggi may have been killed by "rogue killers" and his phone calls with Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has appeared willing to accept any of their knowledge Khashoggi's killing.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has called the alarming allegations against it completely "baseless." Khashoggi left its diplomatic compound in Istanbul on Oct. 2, while a growing file of circumstantial evidence has become increasingly hard to dismiss.
The pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak claimed Wednesday that the 60-year-old journalist who wrote for the Washington Post was accused by a team of Saudi agents immediately after entering the consulate, cutting off his fingers and later decapitating him. Sabah, a separate Turkish newspaper with close government ties, on Thursday published Surveillance video images showing a man who is traveling with Saudi Arabia's crown prince on a visit to the U.S. Khashoggi disappeared there.
If there is any activity in this is unlawful, it's unacceptable "Pompeo said in Turkey after holding talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish police claim to possess.
On his way home from Washington on Wednesday, Pompeo acknowledged growing calls for answers: "Sooner's better than later for everyone."
Turkish investigators searched the Istanbul home of the Saudi consul and Khashoggi was allegedly killed for clues. The consul left Turkey earlier this week.
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In the absence of Turkey the evidence it says it has more widely available, and Saudi Arabia is failing to produce counter-evidence, scrutiny has fallen on Saudi Arabia's crown prince and de facto ruler. He has hundreds of journalists, activists, officials and even members of his royal family in a bid to quash dissent. He has previously been accused of trying to lure other U.S. resident, Saudi dissidents back home, including Ali Al-Ahmed. "Al-Ahmed told USA TODAY in a recent interview.
On Thursday, the Washington Post published the last column by Khashoggi, written shortly before he was missing and sent to the newspaper a day after he disappeared by his translator. The column, titled "What the Arab world needs is free expression," is an essay on the need for a free press in the Middle East.
Khashoggi thus laments in the piece that many Arabs, in his view, live in a state of misinformation. Perhaps eerily prescient, he talked about how he was under pressure and was not taken seriously by the international community. "These actions no longer carry the consequences of a backlash from the international community," Khashoggi writes.
"Instead, these actions may be promptly condemned by silence the media. "
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Contributing: Christal Hayes
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