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White House: More talks with Saudi crown prince

11 October 2018

NY magazine's Olivia Nuzzi scored the interview of a lifetime Tuesday, when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders roped her in to the Oval Office for a private press briefing with President Trump, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"They've got some explaining to do", he said of Saudi Arabia, adding he did not wish to rush to judgment.

Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the continuing to monitor the unfolding investigation in Istanbul, but offered no information about what the crown prince told the US officials regarding Khashoggi's disappearance.

He says he's spoken with the Saudis about what he called a "bad situation", but he did not disclose details of his conversations. "I don't like hearing about it", Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. The senator called that statement "not credible" and he said it's now up to the Saudi government to clarify the situation.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Turkish officials believed a 15-member Saudi team dismembered Khashoggi's body with a bone saw after murdering him within a couple hours of his entering the consulate. But it clearly shows that Saudi officials, including the ambassador in Washington, were not telling the truth when they denied the existence of the Saudi team.

Government sources said police believe the journalist was killed inside the consulate, claims which Riyadh dismissed as "baseless".

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"The leaders and presidents that belong to Trump's sphere are the ugly sorts of tyrannies in the world, like Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, [Abu Dhabi crown prince] Mohammed Bin Zayed and Mohammed Bin Salman", he told MEE.

The announcement came as a surveillance image surfaced of Jamal Khashoggi walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, just before he disappeared.

He told reporters that "nobody knows what happened yet", and expressed a hope that the journalist may still be alive.

"I've never heard of an embassy in my life that doesn't tape", he said. He walked into the consulate of Saudi Arabia, his native country, without doubting he would be safe there.

"We want to see what's going on there", he said.

Earlier, Turkish daily Sabah listed the names and images of 15 suspected Saudi operatives who landed in Istanbul on the day Khashoggi vanished last week after entering the Saudi consulate.

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Alyssa Edling, center, and Thomas Malia, second from right, both with PEN America, join others as they hold signs of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, during a news conference about his disappearance in Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in front of The Washington Post in Washington. He wrote columns for the Washington Post and the Guardian.

A critic of the crown prince, Mr Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in the USA and writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post before his disappearance.

At this time, I implore US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance.

A fifteen-member Saudi "hit squad" is being blamed for the disappearance of Saudi dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi, according to Turkish security sources familiar with the case, who asked not to be named.

Later, eight of the men checked into the Movenpick hotel near the consulate, with seven others checking into a nearby hotel, the Wyndham.

Mujtahid said that the Turkish judicial authorities are already in possession of sufficient proof and evidence to prove the Saudi government's role in Khashoggi's death, but they are waiting for completion of the legal and judicial process so that the final report would condemn bin Salman.

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Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan issued the newspaper's latest plea for information Tuesday, saying neither Saudi Arabia nor Turkey has provided satisfactory answers.

White House: More talks with Saudi crown prince