Donald Trump says United States 'demanding' answers over disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Oil Barrels

Oil Barrels

A screenshot of Khashoggi entering the consulate taken by a Turkish police camera, at 1:14 pm on October 2 is the last known image seen of the writer who was living in exile between Washington DC and Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government adviser, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since previous year fearing possible arrest. "And we're going to get to the bottom of it", Trump said. "People saw him go in but they didn't see him come out". He added that he spoke with the Saudis about what he called a "bad situation", but he did not disclose details.

Iran has warned that if it can not sell its oil due to United States pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either, threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz. "We expect a thorough investigation and total transparency from the Saudi authorities on what happened".

Although the U.S.'s relationship with Saudi Arabia became tense during Barack Obama's presidency, Trump has enjoyed a much friendlier relationship with the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS. "We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as available", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. And he revealed he planned to invite Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who appealed for Trump's help in an open letter, to the White House. "I think she's in shock, now even more", her friend said.

Cengiz appealed to Trump in an opinion piece for the Washington Post on Tuesday, calling on him to "help shed light on Jamal's disappearance".

Middle East Eye reported one of the suspects was head of the forensic department in Saudi General Security. Local media claim the men are part of a 15-strong hit squad, sent by Saudi Arabia, which includes special forces officers, intelligence officials and a forensics expert.

Another journalist and commentator, Turad al-Amri, has been missing since November 2016 after he tweeted his opposition to a government clampdown on Saudi media, including the decision to block an online newspaper for which he had written.

A Turkish security source had previously told Reuters that the 15 Saudis, including some officials, left the country later the same day.

Sen. Bob Corker says he has reviewed USA intelligence reports on the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist and critic and "everything" points to involvement by the government of Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the US for the previous year.

Corker said that he had warned the kingdom that its political support in the Senate is "the lowest ever" and that if Saudi officials are responsible for Kashoggi's disappearance, "this would drop it off a cliff".

"I've never heard of an embassy in my life that doesn't tape", he said. It said they checked into two hotels in Istanbul on 2 Oct, the day Khashoggi went missing, and left later that day.

The Sabah newspaper published images of the men apparently taken at passport control.

The Washington Post said it has repeatedly asked the Saudi and Turkish governments for information about Khashoggi's whereabouts and has not received any satisfactory answers.

It did not say how it obtained the pictures and data.

Khashoggi, 59, was reportedly killed within two hours of arriving at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

The Spectator reported claims that Mr Khashoggi had been offered a role as an adviser if he returned to Saudi Arabia but had declined because of "moral and religious" principles. Saudi Arabia may have agreed to the search in order to reassure its Western allies and the global community.

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