Trump says it 'certainly looks' like journalist Khashoggi is dead

KSA came up with a laughable face-saving fiction that some rogue officers killed Khashoggi in an operation gone awry

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with both Saudi and Turkish officials to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance.

But Turkish officials claimed to have discovered evidence of a crime inside the consulate where Khashoggi was last seen.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said he expects Turkish and Saudi Arabian investigations to reveal a "complete picture" of what happened to Khashoggi.

"We're all going to get to see the response from Saudi Arabia to this".

Turkish forensics and police officers arrive to the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 15, 2018, to search the premises in the investigation over missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Washington Post late on Tuesday published passport scans of the suspects allegedly involved in the journalist's killing, while another report detailed close links between the suspects and the powerful crown prince accused of ordering the murder. The Saudis have dismissed those reports as baseless but have yet to explain what happened to Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who wrote critically of Prince Mohammed's rise to power.

A Turkish official said Friday that investigators are looking into the possibility that Khashoggi's remains may have been taken to a forest in the outskirts of Istanbul or to another city - if and after he was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

The statement said Saudi Arabia faced "crises and problems" because of "injustice and unfair policies that MBS is responsible for", using an acronym for the crown prince.

Mutreb, who was the first secretary at the Saudi embassy in London and has been described as a colonel in Saudi intelligence, is closely connected to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump on Thursday acknowledged Khashoggi likely is dead.

Asked about the potential U.S. response to Saudi Arabia, which is accused of murdering the Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi regime, Trump said: "It will have to be very severe".

"It certainly looks that way to me, it's very sad", Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One to attend a political rally in Montana.

But while withholding judgment on the case, Trump and Pompeo in recent days have stressed the depth of US-Saudi cooperation in financial and counterterrorism matters stretching back for nearly a century.

The Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Stef Blok, said he was pulling out because "the disappearance of Khashoggi is a very serious matter".

"The king started asking aides and MbS about it. MbS had to tell him and asked him to intervene when Khashoggi's case became a global crisis", this source said.

While it's true Khashoggi was drawn toward more radical streams of thought in his youth, he later moved toward a liberal, secular point of view, those who have tracked his career say.

Mr Khashoggi went to the consulate seeking documents for his planned marriage to his Turkish fiancee, who was waiting outside and was never seen again. USA lawmakers from both parties have expressed outrage over Khashoggi's disappearance and reports of his murder and have been calling for consequences, including possible sanctions against Saudi Arabia.

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