Donald Trump says Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi likely dead, vows 'severe' consequences


"I'll have a full report on that from Mike (Pompeo) when he comes back". The United States and allies have collected some intelligence through their own sources and methods, which partly confirms news reports based on leaks of audio recordings, four of the sources said.

According to daily Yeni Şafak, Turkish forensics experts found "evidence of murder" at the consulate.

Turkish reports say Khashoggi, who had written columns critical of the Saudi government for The Washington Post over the past year while he lived in self-imposed exile in the USA, was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by members of an assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Thursday, Pompeo said he advised President Trump to give Saudi Arabia "a few more days" to complete the probe.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he presumes Khashoggi is dead and that the US response to Saudi Arabia will likely be "very severe" but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.

'It certainly looks that way to me.

In recent days, Trump has repeatedly come to the defense of Saudi Arabia, saying the country's crown prince "totally denied" knowledge about the suspected death of the Washington Post journalist and said answers into the matter would be coming "shortly". "I think we have to find out what happened first", he said.

Turkish authorities say he was killed by a special team of 15 Saudi officials that flew into Istanbul and left the day Khashoggi arrived at the consulate.

Bezos was among a number of tech executives who met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he visited the United States in March.

USA intelligence officials have also intercepted communications between Saudi officials discussing a possible plan to detain Khashoggi.

"We need Saudi Arabia", the president said, before ticking down a list of items from the fight against terrorism to Iran.

Several companies - ranging from Google and Uber, to banking giants JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse have pulled out, citing concerns about Khashoggi's disappearance.

In his comments to reporters, Pompeo said he also stressed the "longstanding strategic relationship" between the US and Saudi Arabia. Pompeo returned from his trip to Riyadh and Ankara on Wednesday night.

But the issue of Khashoggi's fate is "gathering momentum", Charbonneau said, "and we hope that the momentum will be such that Turkey will not be able to say no, and will actually have to step forward ... and that the Saudis will be under so much pressure that they will have to cooperate" with a United Nations investigation.