Trump: Saudi King denies knowledge of Khashoggi

President Trump says he spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who denied any knowledge of what happened to missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 7:51 AM
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 8:15 AM

President Donald Trump suggested Monday that "rogue killers" could be behind the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after a phone call with Saudi Arabia's King Salman over the case.

Trump told White House reporters that Salman offered him a "flat denial" in relation to the disappearance of Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was last seen in public when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in Turkey on October 2.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Washington for Riyadh at around midday to meet with the Saudi King on Trump's orders.

Saudi authorities maintain Khashoggi left the consulate the same afternoon of his visit, but have provided no evidence to support the claim. Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate, says she did not see him re-emerge.

"It wasn't like there was a question in his mind. The denial was very strong," Trump said of King Salman.

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers, who knows," Trump said. It was not clear whether Trump was offering his own analysis or whether the suggestion came from Salman.

"We are going to try to get to the bottom of it very soon," Trump added. "But his was a flat denial."

CNN reporters saw Turkish investigators, including forensics officers, entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Monday evening. Saudi officials had granted permission for the premises to be searched, a Turkish diplomatic source told CNN, and police were seen cordoning off the area before investigators arrived. Turkish officials also want to search the nearby consul general's residence.

Turkish authorities believe 15 Saudi men who arrived in Istanbul on October 2 were connected to Khashoggi's disappearance and possible murder. At least some of them appear to have high-level connections in the Saudi government.

A source familiar with the ongoing investigation told CNN on Friday that Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that shows journalist Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

International pressure is mounting on Riyadh to explain the journalist's disappearance, in a case that has created a diplomatic rift between Saudi and the West. The UK, France and Germany have demanded a "credible investigation" into the events and Trump on Sunday warned of serious retribution if the Saudis were found to be behind his possible death.

Saudi officials threatened to retaliate if the US imposed sanctions, but Riyadh later softened its tone.

The case has also caused friction between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which has repeatedly accused the Saudis of failing to cooperate with their investigation.

The agreement to allow a search of the consulate comes a day after King Salman called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the case. The two leaders agreed on a joint working group to look into the journalist's disappearance.

The Saudi official said that a royal decree was issued Friday directing the public prosecutor to conduct an internal investigation into the Khashoggi case, based on intelligence shared by Turkey with Saudi Arabia.

The official said that although a joint investigation team was cooperating on the ground, the Saudi "leadership had felt that an internal investigation was needed to make sure no stone is left unturned to unfold the truth."

International companies pull out

Saudi Arabia's stock market fell as much as 7% on Sunday amid fears of sanctions. The index recovered some ground later to close 3.5% down. The market's drop of as much as 9% since Khashoggi vanished has wiped out all the market's gains in 2018, although it is still up 8% from a year ago.

Amid the diplomatic fallout over Khashoggi's disappearance, international firms are pulling out of a high-profile investment summit, the Future Investment Initiative conference, dubbed "Davos in the Desert," due to take place later this month in Riyadh and to be hosted by Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The latest high-profile invitee to pull out of the conference is World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, according to a person familiar with the decision. The CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, has also withdrawn, a spokesperson confirmed Sunday.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was still due to attend the conference. The BBC reported that the attendance of the British Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, was in doubt.

Saudi Arabia has found support in a number of Arab allies, including Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which all put out statements Sunday saying they expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia. The Palestinian Authority also put out a statement of support.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 59°
Columbus
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 60°
Oxford
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Starkville
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather