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Trump blames 'rogue killers' over Khashoggi

16 October 2018

Saudi Arabia is considering an admission that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong, United States media reported on Monday. "The report is intended, per CNN, to absolve the Saudi government of responsibility for the murder by claiming the operation was not cleared", the new report said.

Saudi Arabian students are deciding to stay pat studying overseas instead of returning home as businesses flee deals with the Kingdom over the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, an official from the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia tells Sputnik.

"Growing tensions over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has proved supportive for oil prices", said ING commodities strategist Warren Patterson.

Khashoggi, who recently has been living in Virginia and writing columns for The Washington Post, hasn't been seen since October 2, when he entered the Saudi Consulate to handle paperwork for his upcoming marriage.

Turkish officials have said that two private planes carrying 15 Saudi operatives flew to Turkey and the men were seen arriving at the consulate shortly before Khashoggi entered the compound.

But on Sunday Saudi Arabia said it rejected political and economic "threats" over the missing journalist and would respond to any punitive action "with a bigger one".

Salman denied "any knowledge of whatever may have happened" to Khashoggi and told him the Saudis are working closely with Turkey on the case, Trump wrote.

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"There's something really bad and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we're going to have to see", Trump said.

The king also said Turkey and Saudi Arabia enjoy close relations and "that no one will get to undermine the strength of this relationship", according to a statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

On Monday morning, President Trump offered a hand, telling reporters that, after speaking with King Salman about Khashoggi's death, "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers - who knows".

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

Companies and executives in other industries also appeared to distance themselves from the Saudis Monday. "This is unfortunate; this is something that is making our - my work - and the Center for [Democracy and] Human Rights in Saudi Arabia very hard", he continued.

Prince Mohammed, King Salman's son, has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment. Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with the king on the issue. I mean, who knows? Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford won't attend because of a scheduling conflict, a spokeswoman said. Most recently Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced he will no longer be attending the event, saying, "I'm very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi".

Trump blames 'rogue killers' over Khashoggi