Turkish media show images of writer’s ‘assassination squad’
- Antoinette Montgomery
"If it turns out that suspicions of Saudi involvement in the murder of this journalist are true", Kaine said, "it could be a real sea-change in the relationship between the USA and Saudi Arabia that could affect many things, including US support for what Saudi Arabia is doing in Yemen".
A veteran journalist, Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to arrange paperwork for his wedding to Cengiz, a Turk.
The administration is "in the midst of an internal process" of considering exceptions called SRE waivers, or significant reduction exemptions, said a government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
"We can not let this happen to reporters, to anybody", Mr Trump said on Wednesday.
He is also a former editor of the Saudi newspaper al-Watan and had worked with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a grandson of the first Saudi king who was detained previous year as part of what the authorities said was an anti-corruption campaign. "So I think we have to get to the bottom of it". "People saw him go in but they didn't see him come out".
"We have always had a very good relationship", he said. "It's a bad thing", Mr Trump said.
Iran was exporting between 2.5 and 2.7 million bpd in April before the U.S. announced the return of sanctions. "We expect a thorough investigation and total transparency from the Saudi authorities on what happened".
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All three officials pressed MBS, as the Crown Prince is known, for more details and urged his government to support a transparent investigation, Sanders added.
US Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday the US was ready to help in any way in the investigation.
After Khashoggi's fiance wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, pleading for Trump and his wife Melania's help, the president said that the first lady's office was working on inviting her to the White House.
Khashoggi's fiancé Khadija Cengiz has broken her silence over the disappearance of the Saudi critic.
Turkey's private NTV news channel identified one of the 15 Saudis who arrived as the head of a Saudi forensic science agency.
Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper and other media alleged Wednesday that the Saudi Consulate's 28 local staff were given leave on October 2 on grounds that a "diplomats' meeting" would be held there on that day.
These were the toughest comments coming out of the Trump administration since the mysterious disappearance of the journalist, who Turkish authorities suspect was abducted and murdered by the Saudis.
Senators Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman and ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday demanding a probe of Khashoggi's disappearance under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
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Khashoggi had sought to become a United States citizen after living in self-imposed exile since past year, fearing repercussions for his criticism of the prince, Cengiz wrote. "But as I said yesterday, the free world deserves answers".
"This is of serious concern, the apparent enforced disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi from the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul", UN spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said.
Pence did not indicate that either Turkey, which has launched an intensive investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, or Saudi Arabia has sought USA assistance. No evidence of him leaving the consulate has been made public, but Turkish officials also have yet to provide evidence he was kidnapped or killed.
The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as the "assassination squad" apparently taken at passport control. The 15 departed at four different times, Sabah reported.
It did not say how it obtained the pictures and data.
The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a contributor, published a surveillance image Tuesday showing the Saudi reporter at the consulate. An hour and 54 minutes later, according to the time stamp, a black Mercedes van drives about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) to the consul's home, where it is then parked in a garage.
Separately, the state-run TRT World released video footage on Wednesday of the Saudi squad arriving in Istanbul and leaving that day.
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