Trump vows to un­earth truth about writer’s dis­ap­pear­ance

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Zeke Miller and Suzan Fraser

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­clared Fri­day the U.S. will un­cover the truth about what hap­pened to jour­nal­ist and U.S. res­i­dent Ja­mal Khashoggi, whose pos­si­ble mur­der at Saudi hands af­ter dis­ap­pear­ing in Is­tan­bul has cap­tured world­wide at­ten­tion. Trump promised to call Saudi Ara­bia’s King Sal­man soon about “the ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion in Turkey.”

“We’re go­ing to find out what hap­pened,” Trump pledged when ques­tioned by re­porters in Cincin­nati where he was head­lin­ing a po­lit­i­cal rally.

Khashoggi, a force­ful critic of the Saudi govern­ment, went miss­ing more than a week ago af­ter en­ter­ing a Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, and Turk­ish of­fi­cials have said they be­lieve he was mur­dered there. U.S. of­fi­cials say they are seek­ing an­swers from the Saudi govern­ment and are not ac­cept­ing the Turk­ish govern­ment’s con­clu­sions.

The Saudis have called ac­cu­sa­tions that they are re­spon­si­ble for Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance “base­less.” Widely broad­cast video shows the 59­year­old writer and Wash­ing­ton Post con­trib­u­tor en­ter­ing the con­sulate Oct. 2, but there is none show­ing him leav­ing.

Sep­a­rately, Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo spoke to Khashoggi’s fi­ancee, Hat­ice Cen­giz, the State De­part­ment said Fri­day. No de­tails of the con­ver­sa­tion were re­leased.

In an in­ter­view Fri­day with The As­so­ci­ated Press,

Mnuchin plans to at­tend Saudi in­vest­ment con­fer­ence.

HINGTON» Trea­sury Sec­re­tary

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Steven Mnuchin said Fri­day he still plans to at­tend a ma­jor in­vest­ment con­fer­ence in Saudi Ara­bia this month de­spite mount­ing ev­i­dence that Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Ja­mal Khashoggi was killed in­side the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul.

A grow­ing num­ber of me­dia com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing CNN, have an­nounced they will no longer par­tic­i­pate in the event sched­uled to start Oct. 23 in Riyadh. Sev­eral busi­ness lead­ers, in­clud­ing Uber chief ex­ec­u­tive Dara Khos­row­shahi, are back­ing out.

Asked for ad­vice to busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives, Mnuchin said: “My com­ment is we all want in­for­ma­tion, so let’s wait and see what in­for­ma­tion comes out in the next week.”

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Mnuchin will eval­u­ate whether to at­tend. Cen­giz said Khashoggi was not ner­vous when he en­tered the Saudi con­sulate to ob­tain pa­per­work re­quired for their mar­riage.

“He said, ‘See you later, my dar­ling,’ and went in,” she said.

Cit­ing anony­mous sources, The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported Thurs­day that Turkey’s govern­ment has told U.S. of­fi­cials it has au­dio and video proof that Khashoggi was killed and dis­mem­bered. The AP has not been able to con­firm that re­port. In writ­ten re­sponses to ques­tions by the AP, Cen­giz said Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties had not told her about any record­ings and Khashoggi was of­fi­cially “still miss­ing.”

She con­firmed re­ports that Khashoggi was wear­ing an Ap­ple watch when he en­tered the con­sulate and said in­ves­ti­ga­tors were ex­am­in­ing his cell­phones, which he had left with her.

Saudi Ara­bia says Khashoggi left the con­sulate. He hasn’t been seen since, although his fi­ancee was wait­ing out­side.

Turkey and Saudi Ara­bia are im­por­tant U.S. al­lies in the re­gion.

On Thurs­day, Trump had said U.S. re­la­tions with Saudi Ara­bia were “ex­cel­lent” and he was re­luc­tant to scut­tle highly lu­cra­tive U.S. weapons deals with Riyadh. A num­ber of mem­bers of Congress have pressed the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to im­pose sanc­tions on the coun­try in re­sponse to the Khashoggi af­fair.

A del­e­ga­tion from Saudi Ara­bia ar­rived in Turkey on Fri­day as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the writer’s dis­ap­pear­ance. In a state­ment, the Saudis wel­comed the joint ef­fort and said the king­dom was keen “to sus­tain the se­cu­rity and safety of its cit­i­zenry, wher­ever they might hap­pen to be.”

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