Saudi Arabia Begins Probe Into Khashoggi Disappearance

Women gather for a rally and march at Chicago's Grant Park to inspire voter turnout ahead of November's midterm election. Kamil Krzaczynski AFP

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to speculate on what Trump might do after the president promised "severe punishment" in a "60 Minutes" interview if the US determines that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate. If until now he has not ordered attacks against any other country it is because he is not sure of the consequences.

Turkish officials have said they believe he was killed - a claim Saudi Arabia has denied - with the controversy dealing a huge blow to the kingdom's image and efforts by its youthful crown prince to showcase a reform drive.

Trump has said he does not want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm USA manufacturers.

Trump called his top diplomat on Sunday night and asked him to have face-to-face meetings with the Saudi leaders, according to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be hard, but we believe we will obtain evidence", the Turkish official said. James Lankford, R-Okla., who was at the White House for the arrival of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was released from Turkey after almost two years of confinement. "The US is the dominant energy player".

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But Riyadh vowed to hit back on October 14 against any punitive measures as its stock market tumbled, with the fallout from the crisis threatening to imperil Prince Mohammed bin Salman's much-hyped economic reform drive.

"We don't know the facts of this case just yet".

A joint Turkish and Saudi team will search the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on Monday afternoon as part of an investigation into the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Turkish diplomatic source said.

While Trump commented at the White House, Turkish crime scene investigators finally entered the Saudi consulate to comb the building where Khashoggi was last seen alive two weeks ago. There have been suggestions that Khashoggi was previously concerned he was about to be captured by the Saudi court.

"What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government", billionaire investor Richard Branson said.

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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". Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, almost two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince. Leaks from the Turkish investigation suggest Khashoggi was interrogated by a Saudi team before he died, with his body then dismembered either in the consulate or at the consul-general's nearby residence.

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.

Saudi Arabia appears to be increasingly cornered. While privately expressing certainty about what happened, Turkish officials have voiced doubts about their ability to link the alleged murder, and the people it says were the assassins, directly to Prince Mohammed.

At Saudi Arabia's request, it's establishing a joint working group with Turkey to investigate Khashoggi's fate, Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan's spokesman, told reporters on October 11.

"Erdogan's ideal scenario is not drawn-out conflict with the Saudis, it's to help the Saudis dig out of this with a graceful exit", he said.

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Google , for its part, said in a report that they have found no evidence that "the data had been improperly accessed or misused". The incident also marks the beginning of the end for Google +, which the company plans to shut down over the next year.

Well, there are many other things we could do. "He wants to make sure he has Trump's ear".

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