US Senators pile pressure on Trump over Khashoggi disappearance


"We don't like it and we're going to get to the bottom of it", he added. He went in, and it doesn't look like he came out. "It's a very serious situation for us".

"Nobody knows what happened", he said. It would be a violation of global law to harm, arrest or detain people at a diplomatic mission, he said, and noted that no such thing had ever happened in Turkey's history.

But Trump, who during his first official visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 announced a proposed $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom, wouldn't say whether he would block further weapons sales if it is proven that the crown prince was behind Khashoggi's disappearance.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has reviewed the US intelligence into what happened to Khashoggi, said "the likelihood is he was killed on the day he walked into the consulate".

"At this time, I implore President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance", she said.

Trump describes U.S. -Saudi relations as "excellent".

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump's close aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner had all spoken to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the past two days. The fallout could reshape alliances in the region, where the seeking to stabilize Syria, contain Iranian weapon development and support a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's civil war.

The US and the United Kingdom have both called on the Saudi government to step up its investigation into the disappearance.

The incident has been largely absent from Saudi media, but on Thursday Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al Awsat cited an unnamed source who said the kingdom was being targeted by "those who try to exploit the reality of the disappearance".

At least 15 Saudi journalists and bloggers have been arrested over the past year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday, following the disappearance of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi. He visited Saudi Arabia on his first worldwide trip as president, announcing $110bn in proposed arms sales with the Gulf kingdom at the time.

She said he did not think the Saudis could force him to stay at the consulate, adding: 'He did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil. The security establishment concluded that Khashoggi's killing was directed from the top because only the most senior Saudi leaders could order an operation of such scale and complexity.

On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. Turkish sources believe he was tortured, killed and dismembered.

According to the Washington Post, U.S. intelligence "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture" Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia's regime.

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino earlier insisted that the United States had no forewarning of any concrete threat to Khashoggi.

The Post, citing anonymous US officials familiar with the intelligence, said Prince Mohammed ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi from his home in Virginia, where he lived most recently, to Saudi Arabia and then detain him.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the Saudi ambassador to the US was traveling to Saudi Arabia, and that the USA expects him to provide information about the Khashoggi case when he returns.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed concern after reviewing classified reports on the situation.

"To feels very much some nefarious activity has occurred by them". "But I don't want to rush to judgment". The wealthy former government insider had been living in the self-imposed exile.

The men, pictured at passport control, reportedly flew to Istanbul on October 2 - the day Khashoggi disappeared into the Saudi Consulate in the city - and left later that day, using private jets.