Trump reluctant to halt arms sales to Saudis over alleged assassination

The image taken from Turkey's Daily Sabah shows 15 Saudi operatives suspected of having killed Kamal Khashoggi upon his arrival at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

The Daily Sabah published images and security video of the so-called "assassination squad" as they entered the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul where Khashoggi-a prominent Saudi journalist and regime critic-was last seen entering in the same day on October 2.

In Turkey on Thursday, a spokesman for President Erdogan told the state-run Anadolu Agency that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would form a "joint working group" to look into the journalist's disappearance.

Co-host Steve Doocy brought up the report that Mohammed ordered Khashoggi's return to Saudi Arabia and told Trump, "That sounds like it goes right to the top, Mr. President". "We have jobs, we have a lot of things happening in this country". They spend $40 million, $50 million.

'We were in the middle of making wedding plans, life plans, ' she added.

"If it's found that they murdered a journalist, that will hugely change our relationship", Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.

"If it turns out to be what we all think it is today but don't know, there will have to be significant sanctions placed at the highest levels", he said.

"Frankly I think that would be a very very tough pill to swallow for our country".

U.S. President Donald Trump says he sees no reason to block Saudi Arabian investments in the United States despite concern over a missing Saudi journalist, saying the Gulf nation would then just move its money into Russian Federation and China.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then had a follow-up call with the crown prince to reiterate the USA request for information and a thorough, transparent investigation. There is also an informal process in which key lawmakers can put "holds" on arm sales.

Speaking to Fox News, Paul said the incident was "just one more reason" why the United States should be wary of selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt's show that the United States would send Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to the consulate to investigate if the Saudis requested it.




"Yes, we're looking at it. We want to bring her to the White House", Trump told reporters.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that Washington was working with Ankara and Riyadh on the investigation, though Turkish officials denied his claim that U.S. investigators were operating inside Turkey.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that USA intelligence had intercepted the communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, citing an unidentified person familiar with the information.

There are plenty of gruesome rumours flying around over what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Picture taken September 29, 2018.

A source told the Washington Post that U.S. intelligence "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him".

Miss Cengiz said Mr Khashoggi had visited the consulate on September 28 despite some concern that he could be in danger.

President Trump revealed the United States has investigators looking into how a journalist went missing last week after entering the Saudi Consulate in Turkey and said it would be a "very sad thing" if the kingdom's crown prince hatched the plot.

Khashoggi's Turkish fiance, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside, said he never re-appeared. Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, Mohammed bin Salman, has done so many times.

Turkey, however, remains reluctant to officially blame Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's murder. The Kentucky Republican said he hopes Trump will support stronger measures against Saudi Arabia "if there is any evidence they killed this journalist".

A bipartisan group of senators has forced a U.S. investigation to determine whether sanctions should be imposed under the Magnitsky Act. "It is not possible for us to remain silent regarding such an occurrence, because it is not a common occurrence", he was quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper. About two hours after he entered the consulate, video released by state media in Turkey shows several vehicles with diplomatic license plates, leave the consulate and drive some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away to the consul's residence.

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