Trump vows to unearth truth about writer’s disappearance
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
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.”