'Not at all' giving cover to Saudis in journalist's disappearance

Khashoggi was tortured before being killed: report

The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that Saudi operatives beat and drugged Khashoggi, then killed and dismembered him, with pro-government media in Turkey publishing similar accounts.

Saudi Arabia, which denies any involvement in the kidnapping or killing of Khashoggi, has set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance with Turkey.

Becker noted how Trump compared the situation to the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who Trump opined was similarly portrayed in the media as "guilty until proven innocent" after Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct and rape by several women, threatening his confirmation to the nation's highest court.

Trump, who has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and the 33-year-old crown prince, said the United States has asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence. I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together.

Meanwhile, Turkish police on Wednesday began a search at the residence of the Saudi consul to Istanbul, in the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in the city, according to an AFP correspondent. "They're going to do an investigation, and when the investigation comes out, we'll evaluate it, it's not about benefit of the doubt", Pompeo told reporters on his plane before departing Turkey.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said the administration had requested access to recorded evidence from the Turkish authorities "if it exists" and that it "probably does".

Pompeo said after meeting with the Saudi royal family that officials in the kingdom told him their investigation into the disappearance and alleged killing won't spare anyone, including royals.

He added that the U.S. must be mindful of the important business and government ties with the Kingdom, once the facts of the case have been determined.

A source familiar with Pompeo's Tuesday meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tells CNN that the smiling photo-op between the two should not be read as an indication that the meeting was friendly.

Khashoggi was killed within minutes and his torturers severed his fingers during the interrogation, the newspaper said.

Over the past few days, Mr Trump has raised the possibility of "rogue killers" being behind the journalist's disappearance.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork for a marriage to a Turkish fiancée.

On Pompeo's visit yesterday, he greeted the Crown Prince with smiles and a warm handshake. Another is identified in a diplomatic directory from 2007 as a first secretary at the Saudi Embassy in London. "That's the only family that matters in Saudi politics, and they nearly never talk about their own conversations with each other and what the thinking is in the family".

Surveillance footage showed diplomatic cars moving between the consulate and the residence almost two hours after the journalist walked into the diplomatic post.

Turkish police had earlier spent more than eight hours searching the consulate building, taking away soil and DNA samples for further examination.

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