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article imageUS investigators working with Saudis, Turkey on missing journalist: Trump

By AFP     Oct 11, 2018 in World

President Donald Trump said Thursday that US investigators were working with both Ankara and Riyadh to probe the suspicious disappearance in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We can't let it happen. And we're being very tough and we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia," Trump said in an interview with "Fox and Friends."

"I have to find out what happened," Trump said, when asked if US-Saudi relations would be jeopardized by the disappearance of Khashoggi, a US resident who Turkish officials suspect was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"We're probably getting closer than you might think," he added.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who lived in the United States, vanished October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document needed to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who waited for him outside.

Turkish police say he was murdered inside the consulate by a 15-member Saudi team that flew into the country just ahead of Khashoggi's scheduled appointment, and left the same day, according to Turkish government sources.

Saudi Arabia insists Khashoggi exited the consulate after a brief visit.

"He went in and doesn't look like he came out. Certainly doesn't look like he is around," Trump told "Fox and Friends."

The Washington Post, citing US intelligence intercepts, reported that Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to trap Khashoggi.

The United States has called for a transparent investigation, amid warnings by US lawmakers of serious repercussions if suspicions of a murder were borne out.

"That would be a very sad thing and we'll probably know in the very short future," Trump said. "We have incredible people and incredible talent working on it. We don't like it. I don't like it. No good."

Khashoggi has been a critic of Saudi policy, especially its intervention in Yemen's brutal civil war, under the crown prince.

Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, have been personally close to Mohammed bin Salman, since turning to Saudi Arabia as a pivotal ally in the Middle East against Iran.

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