WashPost: Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Journalist Critic's Detention

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Turkish claims that a well-known Saudi writer and government critic was slain inside his country's diplomatic mission in Turkey have put the Trump administration in a delicate spot.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered an effort to lure Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi back to his home country, according to USA intelligence documents described to The Washington Post on Wednesday.

He declined to comment on Khashoggi's possible fate, but said "we can not let this happen; to reporters, to anybody". He also said the USA was working "very closely" with Turkey, "and I think we'll get to the bottom of it".

Global pressure has mounted on close US ally Saudi Arabia over the whereabouts of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies, who entered the consulate to get documents for his planned marriage.

But in his first extensive remarks about Khashoggi's case, Trump warned it is "a very sad situation".

Trump said Wednesday night in an interview on Fox News that "so far it's looking a little bit like" the Saudis are behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, but said "I do hate to commit to what recourse we would take. Certainly doesn't look like he is around", Trump told "Fox and Friends". Trump said that Khashoggi's fiancée had sent him a letter and may come to the White House soon.

Asked about a Washington Post report that U.S. intelligence had intercepted top Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, Trump told Fox, "It would be a very sad thing".

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The Times adds that "media reports have cited Turkish investigators as saying they believe he was killed soon after entering the building and his corpse cut to pieces and disposed of by an elite Saudi security team".

The Trump administration is left with an awkward lack of information about a widely respected writer who had been living in self-imposed exile in the US for the past year after fleeing a crackdown on intellectuals and activists in Saudi Arabia.

"I don't know how I can keep living if he was abducted or killed in Turkey".

Angry lawmakers likely won't cause the administration to turn away from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia is a major investor in Turkey, despite Ankara's support for the Gulf nation of Qatar, which is under a blockade led by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations.

Khashoggi had sought to become a US citizen after living in self-imposed exile since previous year, fearing repercussions for his criticism of the prince, Cengiz wrote.

Kaye spoke to The Associated Press moments after he and two colleagues called for an global, independent investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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Britain is a close ally and trade partner of Saudi Arabia.

Prosecutors are investigating the incident, while the consulate said on Twitter it is working in coordination with Turkish authorities.

The Saudi consul-general, Mohammad al-Otaibi, said on Saturday that Khashoggi was not in the consulate or in Saudi Arabia after the consulate was opened to Reuters journalists.

The journalist was known as a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's increasingly authoritarian posture toward dissent in the Kingdom. "We have a country that's doing probably better economically than it's ever done before", Trump said.

He continued: "Part of that is what we're doing with our defense systems and everybody's wanting them".

The administration also relies on Saudi support for its Middle East agenda to counter Iranian influence, fight extremism and support an expected peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.

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