USA pressures Saudi over missing journalist

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"Would be nice to definitively rule out that the Saudis are paying the president massive bribes in exchange for tacit approval for murdering critics!"

The Washington Post reported that USA intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi plans to kidnap Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fled into exile previous year.

Turkish officials say a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist, and then killed and dismembered him. He wanted to build on his years of professional experience to become an influential journalist in Washington, as the Arab world set the stage for major developments. Bob Corker, who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has reviewed U.S. intelligence on the case, said it was likely that Khashoggi was killed the day he walked into the consulate. "I mean, you're affecting us and, you know, they're always quick to jump that way".

The global implications of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance deepened after the "Washington Post" reported that U.S. intelligence was aware the Saudi government was planning to kidnap the journalist.

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been the Trump administration's point person on Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported more harrowing details, based on a source who explained that the planned murder was "a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the objective". Turkish officials quoted in media have said he was killed but Riyadh denies that. Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, published critical pieces of the Saudi government and exiled himself to Virginia.

University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck weighed in on this revelation, saying it's "remarkable" that the USA had this intelligence and seemingly failed to act on it.

The Trump administration, from the president on down, is heavily invested in the Saudi relationship.

U.S. intelligence officials reportedly intercepted communications that the Saudis discussed a plan to lure and capture Khashoggi before his disappearance, a person familiar with the situation said in The Post.

Earlier Thursday on "Fox & Friends", President Trump said US investigators are working with Turkish authorities and the Saudis to find Khashoggi.

The United States has investigators overseas to assist Turkey in its probe over missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday, adding that they are also working with Saudi Arabia. According to some reports, Ankara is considering the options of recalling its ambassador from Riyadh and expelling the Saudi envoy if the Saudis fail to provide a satisfactory explanation on Khashoggi's fate "within several days". "I don't trust them one bit, '" said activist Khaled Saffuri, recounting a conversation he had with Khashoggi in May, moments after the journalist had received a call from Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to the royal court.

Connecticut's Democrat Senator Chris Murphy said it would be time for the U.S. to rethink its relationship with Saudi Arabia if it turned out Khashoggi was lured to his death by the Saudis.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his department called on Saudi Arabia to "support a thorough investigation. and to be transparent about the results". Saudi Arabia is a very rich country. The New York Times and the Washington Post both reported that private planes carrying Saudi Arabian agents arrived in Istanbul shortly before and after Kashoggi entered the consulate and left the same day.

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