Trump sending Mike Pompeo to meet Saudi King ‘immediately’ over missing journalist

Saudis reject threats as stocks plunge after Trump comments

Saudis reject threats as stocks plunge after Trump comments

The Saudi government is considering whether to say that rogue intelligence operatives murdered activist and writer Jamal Khashoggi by mistake inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

CNN reported that the Saudis were going to admit the killing had occurred but deny the king or crown prince had ordered it, which does not match what analysts and experts know about the kingdom's inner workings.

Khashoggi, a US resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, vanished after entering the consulate on October 2 to get marriage documents.

"Per two sources who spoke to CNN, however, the Saudis are preparing a report admitting that they meant to abduct and bring Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, but that he was inadvertently killed in the process". Sources tell Fox News that President Trump has not been made aware of any pending report by the Saudi government.

One source cautioned that the report was still being prepared and could change, CNN said. Trump's comments followed a phone call with King Salman in which Trump said he strongly denied any knowledge of what happened to the journalist. Saudi officials have called the allegations "baseless", but reports in USA media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman, who is next in line to the throne.

They said: 'Defending freedom of expression and a free press and ensuring the protection of journalists are key priorities for Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation.

Saudi Arabia agreed last week to allow Turkish officials to conduct a search but insisted it would only be a superficial "visual" inspection.

Turkish officials said that a Saudi hit squad killed Mr. Khashoggi and dismembered his body to smuggle it out of the country.

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In Istanbul, meanwhile, investigators entered the consulate for their own investigation.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Turkish police investigators entered the Istanbul consulate late on Monday.

But Riyadh vowed to hit back on Sunday against any punitive measures as its stock market tumbled, with the fallout from the crisis threatening to imperil Prince Mohammed's much-hyped economic reform drive.

Mr Trump has said his administration won a $110 billion military order from Saudi Arabia and that the deal, combined with Saudi commitments to invest heavily in the United States, was worth hundreds of thousands of USA jobs.

She asked the government to defend human rights and halt a $15-billion arms deal exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia.

The recordings purportedly indicated that the prominent Saudi journalist was tortured and killed at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, according to the Turkish Sabah daily.

On Sunday, the Saudi Embassy followed up by writing on Twitter: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends...appreciation to all, including the U.S. administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation".

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