'US appointing investigator on Saudi journalist untrue'

The image taken from Turkey's Daily Sabah shows 15 Saudi operatives suspected of having killed Kamal Khashoggi upon his arrival at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says UN expert

Khashoggi vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2.

Eliot Cohen, a top State Department official under then-President George W. Bush, said the message Trump has sent is awful, both about journalists and everybody else.

MSNBC "All In" host Chris Hayes took to Twitter with a weird conspiracy on Wednesday, pondering if wealthy Saudi Arabians are shelling out cash to President Trump in exchange for the authorization to kill critics. "That's the responsibility of the Saudi authorities if they murdered him", Burns said. Khashoggi contributed columns to the Post, including some critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khoshoggi disappeared upon visiting the consulate last week. These leaks, largely matching across Turkey's state-run media and private Erdogan-linked outlets, likely come from the country's security services as another means to pressure the kingdom over Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance. According to the new reports, it also included intelligence officers, soldiers, and members of the royal guard.

Local media on Tuesday reported on the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped and taken aboard one of the private planes. The video later shows some of the men leaving a hotel near the Saudi consulate and Khashoggi entering the consulate. The uniform nature of these reports and their detailed nature suggest the Turkish government is feeding intelligence reports to the media for publication.

In remarkably measured statements that made no mention of the murder claim, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed hope that Khashoggi would turn up alive and urged Riyadh to prove the journalist left the consulate. Two others flew out commercially, Sabah said.

Turkish officials fear Khashoggi was killed by the Saudis after he walked into the consulate, though they haven't offered any evidence to support that.

Mr Erdogan was quoted by Turkish media today as telling journalists flying with him back home from a visit to Hungary that "we can not remain silent to such an incident".

Mr Erdogan questioned whether it was "possible for there to be no camera systems" running at the building, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reports.

Hunt said he had spoken to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and had told him "how very, very concerned the United Kingdom is".

"It's a very sad situation, it's a very bad situation and we want to get to the bottom of it", said the president. Speaking with "Fox News @ Night" Wednesday night, Trump warned such a move "would be hurting us".

On Thursday, Trump said the US would soon issue a report on Khashoggi's disappearance. In both calls, they asked for more details and for the Saudi government to be transparent in the investigation process.

Nicholas Burns, a former US ambassador to Greece and then North Atlantic Treaty Organisation under both Democratic and Republican presidents, said Trump's words can not be directly linked to Khashoggi's fate.

But State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters they had no such tip.

But Trump, who during his first official visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 announced a proposed $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom, wouldn't say whether he would block further weapons sales if it is proven that the crown prince was behind Khashoggi's disappearance. "We're looking at it very, very seriously". "We have jobs. We have a lot of things happening in this country. We have a country that's doing probably better economically than it's ever done before".

If Saudi Arabia is not telling the truth about Khashoggi, he told reporters, 'why would we believe them that they are not intentionally hitting civilians inside Yemen?'

It relies on Saudi support for its Middle East effort to counter Iranian influence and fight extremism. His Turkish fiancee waited outside.

Nevertheless, the Post's report raises questions about what duty US intelligence agencies may have had to warn Khashoggi that he was in danger, if they did know of a plot to capture him.

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

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