USA cautious over Khashoggi as new claims emerge

Donald Trump Reuters

ABC News reported on Thursday, citing Turkish officials, that Pompeo had listened to an audio recording of Washington Post columnist and United States resident Khashoggi's murder inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The US received a payment of $US100 million from Saudi Arabia on the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Riyadh to meet with Saudi leaders to discuss the investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

Stephen Colbert kicked off Thursday's Late Show with a family-friendly joke about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's reported post-election report on President Trump and Russian Federation, and Sting's tantric. prowess - followed by a Gen-X-friendly joke about Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

"Turkey and Saudi Arabia are looking at it very strongly and it depends if the king or crown prince knew about it, in my opinion".

His withdrawal marked the first formal rebuke of the kingdom by the USA over the Khashoggi case, in contrast to Mr. Trump's recent comments praising Saudi Arabia as a key ally in countering Iran - and ordering American-made weapons.

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law and Middle East adviser, has been urging the president to stand by Prince Mohammed, according to a person close to the White House and a former official with knowledge of the discussions.

Only then, Pompeo said, "we can make decisions how or if the United States should respond".

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The Australian government is resisting joining global retribution against Saudi Arabia for the suspected torture, murder and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi pending a global investigation into the incident.

Trump said he was waiting for the results so that "we can get to the bottom of this very soon" and that he would be making a statement about it at some point.

Mohammed has denied his Kingdom knew anything about Khashoggi's disappearance October 2. The Saudis have dismissed those reports as baseless but have yet to explain what happened to Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who wrote critically of Prince Mohammed's rise to power.

Khashoggi, a longtime Saudi critic, has not been seen publicly since he walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2.

New reporting overnight could escalate a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced, "We have decided I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia".

The adviser, Yasin Aktay, said that a little before 6 p.m., he called the Saudi ambassador in Ankara, Waleed Al Khereiji, who told him he had not heard anything about Khashoggi. Authorities have not said specifically what they found, although technicians carried out bags and boxes from the consul general's home.

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