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Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Saudi journalist's disappearance

Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Saudi journalist's disappearance

There was also a suggestion they had meant to abduct Khashoggi and take him to Saudi Arabia.

CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported earlier Monday that Saudi officials were discussing such a plan.

Meanwhile, more major players in global finance and industry are pulling out of a high-profile business conference in Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump is suggesting "rogue killers" may be responsible for whatever happened to missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain a license to marry his Turkish fiancée.

The Turkish government believes Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate, and his body removed in suitcases or boxes.

Word of the Saudi plan comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flies to Riyadh to meet with Saudi King Salman about the disappearance. As if to drive the point home, a cleaning crew with mops, trash bags and cartons of milk walked in, past journalists waiting outside the consulate on Monday.

Khashoggi had visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for an appointment related to his upcoming wedding.

Some police were in uniform while other officials were in suits carrying printers and files, an AFP correspondent said. Surveillance footage from cameras surrounding the consulate showed Khashoggi entering the complex but did not show him leaving.

A Turkish forensic expert was seen on the roof close to the consulate's flag. Even Trump's principal factotum in the U.S. Senate, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), has said there would be "hell to pay" if the Saudi government is proven to have killed Khashoggi.

More news: Turkey manager hits out at "ego driven" Jurgen Klopp

Riyadh's most recent comments have focused on having no knowledge of any killing or denying any such order had been given.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia. Turkey said Erdogan "stressed the forming of a joint working group to probe the case".

The interrogation was reportedly supposed to lead to Khashoggi's abduction from Turkey.

In a statement by the Saudi Press Agency, the government denied any involvement: "The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by waving economic sanctions, using political pressure, or repeating false accusations".

Prince Mohammed, King Salman's son, has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

Other companies and high-profile businessmen have pulled out of the three-day conference known as "Davos in the desert", which is scheduled to begin on October 23 in Riyadh.

Bahrain called for a boycott of Uber, in which PIF has invested $3.5 billion, after its chief executive officer said he would not attend the conference.

A section on the glitzy event website with pictures of the speakers has now been taken down. "It would not be acceptable to me", Trump said.

In August, Freeland sent a tweet condemning Saudi Arabia's decision to jail prominent women's rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah.


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