Lindsey Graham Says 'Toxic' Mohammed Bin Salman 'Has To Go'

Saudi official closes the barrier in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey on Oct. 15 2018

Saudi official closes the barrier in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey on Oct. 15 2018. ERDEM SAHIN—EPA-EFE REX Shutterstock

Within days of Khashoggi's disappearance, Turkish investigators said they had pieced together most of the mystery, concluding that he had been killed inside the consulate and dismembered. "They had come to kill him", the source said.

The crown prince, ambitious, aggressive and just 33 in a kingdom long ruled by aging monarchs, has considerable weight in Saudi government actions. "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.

Asked whether they said Khashoggi was alive or dead, Pompeo said: "They didn't talk about any of the facts".

Despite Western concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, Trump still says he is unwilling to pull out of weapons sales agreements with Riyadh.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents but Riyadh insisted earlier that he left the consulate unharmed.

"The investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over", Erdogan told reporters.

While Pompeo was in Riyadh, Trump said on Twitter that he had talked with the crown prince, the country's de facto leader, "who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish consulate".

"We are strong and old allies", the prince told Pompeo.

On Monday, Turkish and Saudi officials arrived at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after the start of a joint probe into the missing journalist. Trump has resisted any action, pointing to huge USA weapons deals pending with Saudi Arabia and saying that sanctions could end up hurting the American economy.

Pompeo is due to meet senior Turkish officials in Ankara on Wednesday to brief them on his conversations in Riyadh.

It is unclear whether a Saudi statement would be released, and its content hasn't been completed, the people familiar with the matter said. The Secretary will also discuss the Jamal Khashoggi case and reiterate the USA offer to assist Turkey in its investigation, the State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Khashoggi vanished October 2 on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. But even in the absence so far of corroborating evidence that the crown prince was involved in Khashoggi's disappearance, he indicted bin Salman: "He had this guy murdered in the consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it?"

But late Monday evening-after Turkish authorities placed high iron barriers in front of the consulate-a motorcade of six cars drew up and Turkish police and prosecutors entered the premises.

The government's tentative explanation comports with comments Mr. Trump made Monday, after speaking to Saudi King Salman: "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", the president said.

But hours before the Turkish forensic team arrived, journalists photographed a cleaning crew entering the consulate, hauling buckets, mops and what appeared to be bottles of cleaning solution. "He may not", Trump said during a visit to Alabama.

"I think China is likely to keep a low profile on this issue and see how it plays out before directly addressing it", she said.

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