Saudi team that targeted writer included soldiers, royal guards

Saudi team that targeted writer included soldiers, royal guards

Saudi team that targeted writer included soldiers, royal guards

"We want to find out what happened", Trump said. But senior members of Congress with access to US intelligence reporting feared the worst. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia concluded arms sale agreements worth more than $65 billion, from FY2009 through FY2016.

Since 2009, the executive branch has notified Congress of proposed foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia of major defense articles and services with a potential aggregate value of almost $139 billion, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

Trump, in an interview with the Fox News "Fox & Friends" program, also called US-Saudi relations "excellent". They said at the weekend they believed Mr Khashoggi was killed by a team sent to Istanbul and thought to consist of 15 Saudis. "Everything points to them".

Khashoggi, 59, is a longtime leading Saudi journalist and former government advisor who went into exile last year after 33-year-old Prince Mohammed rose to power underneath his father the king.

Turkish authorities have said he was killed by members of an elite Saudi "assassination squad", an allegation the Saudi government has dismissed.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday evening that USA intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Mr Khashoggi.

Mr Khashoggi, a USA resident and critic of the Saudi monarchy, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and has not been seen since. "We can't let it happen", said Trump.

"It's a very sad situation, it's a very bad situation and we want to get to the bottom of it", Trump said.

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.

President Donald Trump has expressed reservations over calls to withhold further USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia as the US looks into the fate of a Saudi writer missing and feared murdered by his own government.

Reporters Without Borders also called for an "independent global investigation" to be conducted in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Trump told reporters he had talked with officials in Saudi Arabia "at the highest level" about Khashoggi's disappearance, but offered no indication on his whereabouts.

Chris Murphy, a Democratic Senator from CT, also called for at least a temporary halt to United States support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

In a new report, the newspaper said US intelligence intercepts showed that Salman had ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in the USA and then to detain him.

"Reports about Jamal's fate have suggested he was a victim of state-sponsored, cold-blooded murder", said Post publisher and chief executive Fred Ryan.

The Washington Post printed a blank column in its newspaper on October 5, in solidarity with Khashoggi titled "A missing voice" and called on Crown Prince Salman to ensure he "is free and able to continue his work".

Trump's comments Wednesday were the toughest yet from his administration.

By 7 p.m., six of the Saudis left by the newly arrived private plane, flying on to Cairo and remaining overnight until heading back to Riyadh, according to Sabah and other media reports.

President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting to discuss potential damage from Hurricane Michael, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2018. It relies on Saudi support for its Middle East effort to counter Iranian influence and fight extremism.

Turkey blames Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's disappearance and affirms the writer never left the consulate. The crown prince's grand economic promises and social reforms, such as allowing women to drive, won him praise internationally but were accompanied by a sharp crackdown on dissent.

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