Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Khashoggi disappearance

Riyadh threatens retaliation for 'actions' against it over missing journalist

Although officials agreed to the investigation, Whitson said that the message from the Saudi government is clear.

The New York Times claims an unnamed source said the Saudi royal family's crown prince approved interrogation or rendition of the dissident Mr Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has responded to Western statements by saying it would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions "with greater action", and Arab allies rallied to support it, setting up a potential showdown between the world's top oil exporter and its main Western allies.

President Trump tweeted Monday morning that he had spoken by phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and that the king "denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened" to Khashoggi.

Turkish officials say they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered the Washington Post contributor.

Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz wait in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 3, 2018.

It says the Saudi government will blame an intelligence official for the bungled operation.

Asian stocks bounced modestly on Tuesday, gaining a toe-hold after a week of heavy losses, although increasing tensions between Saudi Arabia and the West fanned geopolitical concerns and capped gains.

Khashoggi, who recently has been living in Virginia and writing columns for The Washington Post, hasn't been seen since October 2, when he entered the Saudi Consulate to handle paperwork for his upcoming marriage.

An appropriate adjustment to U.S. -Saudi relations-one consistent with U.S. interests, broadly and properly conceived-should have been made well before the Khashoggi affair even arose. The Trump administration's determination to overlook this pattern was recently highlighted by its profoundly dishonest certification that Saudi Arabia is taking care in its Yemeni war to minimize harm to civilians.

"You couldn't make his up", added Al Jazeera journalist Jamal Elshayyal, who posted photos of the cleaning crew's pronounced arrival on Twitter.

Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Referring to a $110 billion weapons deal previously signed by Riyadh and Washington and noting that Khashoggi was not a United States citizen, Trump told journalists last week that he didn't really want to stop "massive amounts of money" from being poured into the USA from Saudi Arabia.

The search came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman also had their first telephone talks since the controversy erupted, in what appeared to be a conciliatory conversation according to official readouts.

CNN reported that the Saudis were going to admit the killing had occurred but deny the king or crown prince had ordered it.

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