Trump talks to Saudi king, dispatches Pompeo

Trump sending Pompeo 'immediately' to meet Saudi king over missing journalist

President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday morning that he spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud about the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Nauert said that during Pompeo's meeting with the king, the secretary of state thanked Salman for "his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent and timely investigation of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance".

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters after speaking with King Salman.

A team of investigators has entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for what Turkish officials called a joint inspection of the building where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared almost two weeks ago.

Saudi officials have called all the allegations "baseless", but have offered no evidence the journalist left the consulate.

Trump told reporters he'd spoken to the Saudi king, who assured him they had not ordered Khashoggi's extermination, and suggested helpfully it may have been the work of a "rogue killer". President Donald Trump said in a "60 Minutes" interview that it's possible the Saudis could be responsible for his disappearance and if so, he would inflict "severe punishment".

Saudi Arabia has pledged to retaliate economically for any US punitive action.

After gathering information from the Turks and the joint team, "the feeling from the leadership was we needed an internal investigation to make sure we're getting the right story here", the Saudi official said. "The United States is the dominant energy player so we're in pretty good shape, in my opinion, with our energy boom to cover any shortfalls". "I mean, who knows?" That approach has also failed, as Mnuchin reiterated his intention to attend the conference on Friday.

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A key USA lawmaker, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, told CNN on Sunday that if Saudi agents "went medieval" on Khashoggi, "that would be an outrage".

Rubio declined to rule out a halt to the arms sales, stressing that the USA must send a message to repressive governments worldwide.

Saudi Arabia has already delved into the world of sport with purchases in both F1 and WWE - and football is already part of a wider political battle between the Gulf States.

"We hope this joint investigation will help in removing all speculations", Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said replying to a question on Monday at a briefing ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Saudi visit from Tuesday.

The forum will be held on October 23-25 and hosted by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. "In the middle would be a delay in arms sales. and at the far end would be sort of broad sanctions against Saudi Arabia in general".

If the Saudis are implicated, Rubio says there would be no pro-Saudi contingent in Congress "that's going to stick with our relationship with Saudi Arabia as it's now structured". The writer had been living in self-exile in Virginia for the past year. Khashoggi has lived in self-imposed exile in the USA since 2017 fearing arrest for his critical views.

Trump administration officials told The Associated Press that intelligence collected by the U.S.is inconclusive as to what actually happened to Khashoggi.

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