Trump: We’ll find out about Saudi writer’s fate

As global pres­sure builds, Saudi Ara­bia sticks by claim it’s as much in dark as any­one.

The Times-Tribune - - NATION & WORLD - BY ZEKE MILLER AND SUZAN FRASER

WASH­ING­TON — 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 per­son­ally 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 yet 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 59-year-old writer and Wash­ing­ton Post con­trib­u­tor en­ter­ing the con­sulate Tues­day of last week, 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, 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 told the AP.

Cit­ing anony­mous sources, the Post re­ported Fri­day 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 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, though his fi­ancee was wait­ing out­side.

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

KHASHOGGI

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