Trump Speaks to Saudi King, Sends Pompeo for Follow-Up

Saudi king calls Erdogan as Khashoggi fallout widens

The Saudis are reportedly on the cusp of acknowledging Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, according to a CNN report.

A Turkish diplomatic source earlier said a joint Turkish-Saudi team would search the building - the last place Khashoggi was seen before he vanished on October 2.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened "severe punishment" for the kingdom if the journalist is found to have been killed.

But now Saudi Arabia is under scrutiny, as questions swirl around the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who wrote opinion columns for The Washington Post.

"Canada remains very troubled by the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and calls for a through, credible and transparent investigation into the serious allegations about Mr. Kashoggi's disappearance".

Saudi Arabia plowed $27 million into lobbying in Washington past year, making it one of the highest-spending countries seeking to influence US policy, according to public records.

Turkish police investigators entered the Istanbul consulate late on Monday.

Saudi Arabia said it would hit back against any sanctions imposed against the oil-rich country, citing its "effective and vital role in the world economy".

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters after speaking with King Salman. In an apparent response to Trump's comments, a Saudi official said if any moves were taken against the kingdom "it will respond with greater action".

There was also a suggestion they had meant to abduct Khashoggi and take him to Saudi Arabia.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he had seen a media report that Saudi officials might say Khashoggi was killed during an unauthorised interrogation, but "nobody knows" if this was an official report. "I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!"

With Trump now appearing to buy into theories about "rogue killers" being responsible, even while Ankara claims it possesses strong evidence of Riyadh's guilt, it seems certain that anyone expecting a strong U.S. response to Khashoggi's disappearance would be well advised to lower their expectations now. Saudi Arabia's riyal currency was still testing the boundaries of its peg at 3.7514 to the dollar - its weakest spot rate since June 2017.

Prince Mohammed, King Salman's son, has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment. His disappearance has led to strong global condemnation of Saudi Arabia, and that condemnation is now starting to trickle over into the business world.

But the president has also said "we would be punishing ourselves" by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

"I don't think he should go", Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's "State of the Union". Ford chairman Bill Ford and Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi are also among those who will not be attending the conference.

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