On Thursday, President Donald Trump said for the first time that he believes that Khashoggi is no longer alive, more than two weeks after Washington Post's columnist entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to never be seen again.
"It looks to me like that, it's very sad," the president said when asked if Khashoggi was dead.
Trump asked about consequences for Saudi Arabia if he was involved in his death to be serious, I mean, it's bad, bad stuff. We'll see what happens. OK?
The Trump administration has put much of its political agenda in the Middle East on a strong American-Saudi relationship with the president's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner establish a close personal relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed.
On Thursday Saudi Arabia, however, had the first US impact on Khashoggi's apparent death when Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin withdrew a scheduled appearance at a Saudi investment conference next week, a government official said no US officials would attend the conference in his place.
Although Trump said that he is still awaiting the results of the Saudi and Turkish investigations before presenting his final assessment of the situation, Mnuchin's withdrawal indicates that Washington has enough information to charge Saudi Arabia. [1
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Liam Fox, the British Secretary of Commerce, and French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, and his Dutch counterpart, Wopke Hoekstra, also withdrew from the conference ,
The CEOs of three top banks had already announced their withdrawal. Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has also canceled her participation. The G7 foreign ministers demanded on Tuesday that those responsible be held accountable.
Two parliamentary groups of US lawmakers have begun to support international demands for an independent investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi and to call Trump for refusing any involvement to reveal his personal financial ties with Saudi Arabia.
Trump's loyalty to Riyadh is increasingly difficult to justify, as evidence suggests that Khashoggi's death is associated with people who are connected to the highest levels of the Saudi government.
Turkish authorities knew "within hours"
On Thursday, CNN learned that within hours of the disappearance of Khashoggi, Turkish officials suspected that he had probably been killed.
Turkish intelligence officials stormed to Istanbul airport, where a private Saudi plane wanted to take off – to find out if he had been kidnapped or if his body had been taken out of the country. They found nothing suspicious, and the flight in question left at about 11 o'clock. Local time.
The Turkish authorities now say that they believe that 15 Saudi men arriving in Istanbul on 2 October were linked to Khashoggi's death. At least some of them seem to have high-level connections in the Saudi government.
Dreadful Details from a sound recording suggest that Khashoggi was tortured shortly after he entered the consulate, according to the Turkish media. Turkish officials have told CNN that his body has been dismembered.
Saudi intelligence official and former diplomat Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb played a "key role" in the alleged killing, CNN said. Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…80&Itemid=58 "well aware of the operation.
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Saudi stance could change [TheSaudiauthoritiesearlierclaimedthatKhashoggihadlefttheconsulateonthesameafternoonofhisvisitbuttheyprovidednoevidencetosupporttheallegation
Sources have told CNN that the kingdom is preparing a report to acknowledge that Khashoggi died at the consulate in a poll that went awry. The sources said the interrogation should lead to his forced return to Saudi Arabia.
A source said the report will likely conclude that the operation was conducted without clearance and transparency, and that the parties involved are held responsible. But any claim by Saudi Arabia that Khashoggi had been killed in a botched interrogation and kidnapping mission by rogue agents would be disproved by growing evidence leaked by Turkish officials.
Pictures of security cameras showing the movements of Mutreb, one of the 15 Saudis Men reminded by Turkish authorities of the obvious death of Khashoggi were released Thursday by a Turkish newspaper.
Mutreb, the first secretary of the Saudi embassy in London and described as a colonel in Saudi intelligence, is closely associated with the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. "He was sent to an elite brigade within the Royal Guard to serve as personal security forces of [the crown prince]," a Saudi source told CNN.
During the Crown Prince's tour of the United States, Mutreb appeared with Bin Salman
Turkish officials also gave CNN passport photos of seven other men whom they suspected had been part of the Saudi team. The pass scans were made on the day of the disappearance of Khashoggi.
One of the passport scans appears to include Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi (spelled Salah Mohammed A Tubaigy in the document), who was listed as head of forensic medicine in the Saudi Ministry of the Interior
Another member of the group, by official Muhammad Saad al-Zahrani, who appeared on Saudi state television together with bin Salman, is identified in the Turkish media and appears in passport scans. His name is Mohammed Saad Alzahrani in the scanned document.
Tim Lister of CNN reported from Ankara and Gul Tuysuz from Istanbul, while Bard Wilkinson from Hong Kong wrote.