Donald Trump says he finds Saudi explanation of Khashoggi death 'credible'

[SIZE=7]Donald Trump says he finds Saudi explanation of Khashoggi death ‘credible’[/SIZE]

Donald Trump has said he found Saudi Arabia’s explanation about the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggicredible and termed it an “important first step.”

The US president added that if the US takes action, he does not want it to impact arms sales to the kingdom, where authorities announced late on Friday that Khashoggi was killed in a fight at its Istanbul consulate. Turkish officials pointed to a state-sanctioned hit.

“I do, I do,” Trump said when asked if he found the Saudis’ explanation credible, adding: “It’s early, we haven’t finished our review or investigation, but … I think it’s a very important first step.”

“I would prefer, if there is going to be some form of sanction or what we may determine to do, if anything … that we don’t use as retribution canceling $110bn worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs,” he said during a visit to Arizona, referring to a major arms deal with the kingdom.

Trump has sent mixed messages about Khashoggi for days, vowing a severe response but also saying that the United States wants to preserve its close relationship with the conservative kingdom.

Members of the US Congress were far harsher in the wake of the kingdom’s admission that Khashoggi was dead.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, Senate foreign relations committee chairman, said he doubted the credibility of the Saudi authorities, who have insisted for weeks that Khashoggi had left the consulate after visiting to finalise divorce papers on 2 October.

“The story the Saudis have told about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance continues to change with each passing day, so we should not assume their latest story holds water,” he tweeted.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally who has nonetheless been outspoken about Khashoggi, shared Corker’s suspicion.

“To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement,” the Republican senator tweeted.

Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, said the United States should pursue sanctions against Saudis involved in Khashoggi’s death under a US law named after Sergei Magnitsky, the anti-corruption Russian accountant who died in custody.

“The Global Magnitsky Act doesn’t have exceptions for accidents. Even if Khashoggi died because of an altercation, that’s no excuse for his murder,” Menendez tweeted.

“This is far from the end and we need to keep up the international pressure.”

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who lived in suburban Washington, was a former insider who turned into a critic of the kingdom’s direction under crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to sort out marriage paperwork, but his fiancee saw nothing more of him after he entered.

Representative Mike Coffman, one of a number of lawmakers from Trump’s Republican party facing a tough race in 6 November elections, said the United States “must stand up for our values and demand our ‘allies’ respect human rights”.

The Colorado lawmaker, who serves on the House armed services committee, urged Trump to immediately recall the acting US ambassador from Saudi Arabia. Trump has yet to nominate a permanent envoy to the kingdom.

United Nations chief, Antonio Guterres, meanwhile demanded that those responsible for Khashoggi’s death be held to account.

“The secretary-general is deeply troubled by the confirmation of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. He extends his condolences to Mr Khashoggi’s family and friends,” Guterres’s office said in a statement.

“The secretary-general stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible.”

So 15person fight is the credible lie he can take.

You know, there’s so much at play here. No black and white. SA definitely brutally murdered Khashoggi. I understand the tough position Trump is in. SA, most powerful Arab country, has a very important role in ME. Sanctioning them could lead to a chain of disastrous events far damaging than the murder of a journalist.

Very big mess, I was reading an article, and when you think of it, there’s alot at stake.
It’s the kind of situation like when you set dry grass on fire.
From what I see, if America tries the sanction way they loose. If they had Iran, then they would sanction Saudi easily.
But now Saudi is taking advantage of that awkward situation.
What scares Saudi is, this story has refused to go away. Turkey have refused to keep quiet about it.
On the other hand qatar is enjoying being out of the gcc, they suffered for some time but they now on their feet.
Now Saudi is trying to pick a fight with Kuwait, all in the name of oil. They have some shared oil wells and MBS is trying to bully them into an agreement.
He’s now accused Kuwait of being a partisan to the ‘brotherhood’ by funding.
Politics of power is a dirty game…

In most situations like this, I see countries “condemning the action the harshest terms possible” but doing nothing else after that. It would cover Trump at home and internationally since it shows he doesn’t condone such brutality and it doesn’t risk the diplomatic relationships since it will blow over.

But this guy is not smart. It’s like he’s out to prove a point to rest rest of the world. His actions are inexplicable even to his own staff! Bottom line, he’s the one making the situation difficult.

Okay. So Qatar by virtue of being sanctioned by Saudi now they are are in your good books?! Now they are alright? Ni kuonewa.

The level of reasoning on this site is very interesting.

So let me get this straight…

Others in the past have pretended and given pretentious statements that they don’t condone such actions and they know they are pretending… and Trump should do the same because it is standard, good practice??!

Good procedure… To pretend? To act? And Trump should also do it? And everything will be alright?

And do nothing else after that?

I’ve always had the view Qatar should distance themselves from the gcc after the stunt pulled on them.

Pretending?

I see what you mean. Pretending: American standard diplomacy since the 1700s…

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I condemn in the harshest words possible… but hey wait you know I don’t really mean that? Right? It’s just standard practice…

Trump capitulates…

[SIZE=7]Trump questions Saudi account on Khashoggi but praises Crown Prince[/SIZE]
By Euan McKirdy
Updated at 9:25 AM ET, Sun October 21, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s explanation of how journalist Jamal Khashoggi died is “all over the place,” US President Donald Trump has told the Washington Post in a new interview. However, the President also praised Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, calling him a “strong person” with “very good control.”

In a Washington Post article published late Saturday, the US President said that “obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” when asked about Saudi Arabia’s account of the killing of Khashoggi inside their Istanbul consulate almost three weeks ago. “Their stories are all over the place,” Trump said.

But Trump was supportive of the Crown Prince’s leadership and reiterated the importance of economic ties between the two countries.

“He’s seen as a person who can keep things under check,” Trump said of Bin Salman, adding, “I mean that in a positive way.”

“He truly loves his country,” said Trump, who added that he hadn’t “heard either way” whether the Crown Prince was responsible for Khashoggi’s killing.

Trump’s ambivalent comments come as an increasingly vocal chorus of international voices question Saudi Arabia’s story.

Statements from the UN, the EU and a number of western governments have criticized Riyadh’s handling of the case, which has gone from blanket denials of any involvement to an admission Saturday morning that the journalist was, in fact, killed while visiting the Saudi diplomatic compound in the Turkish city.

The official Saudi line is that Khashoggi died accidentally after a confrontation in the consulate descended into a brawl.

A source with close connections to the Saudi Royal Palace told CNN that Saudis concluded that Khashoggi’s cause of death was a chokehold or strangulation, but officials provided no evidence to support the conclusion.

The altercation involved multiple Saudi officials at the country’s consulate in Istanbul, according to the statement. It said the suspects later tried to cover up the incident.

Meanwhile Turkish officials say 15 Saudis traveled to Istanbul on the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance. They say privately that he was dismembered at the consulate, and Saudi authorities have failed to produce his body or say where they believe it to be.

A source close to the Saudi Royal Palace told CNN that the location of Khashoggi’s body is not known to the Saudis. The source said the body was handed over to a local “collaborator” after the killing, adding that it is not at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. CNN cannot verify the assertion.

[SIZE=5]‘Give us Jamal’[/SIZE]

Speaking to reporters outside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Saturday, Turan Kislakci, the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association and a friend of Khashoggi, called on Saudi Arabia to hand over the journalist’s body.

https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181020083804-02-turan-kislakci-1020-medium-plus-169.jpg
[SIZE=3]Turan Kislakci, head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, talks to the media in front of Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.[/SIZE]

“Give us Jamal, so we can have a funeral for him. So that all people who care about him, world leaders, can come here to Istanbul for the funeral,” he said.

Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, reacted to the news of his death on Twitter on Saturday evening.

She tweeted footage of Khashoggi speaking and being filmed when a cat unexpectedly jumps into his lap. He looks down and smiles. Khashoggi and the film crew laugh.
“They took your bodily presence from my world,” Cengiz wrote. “But your beautiful laugh will remain in my soul forever.”

[SIZE=7]Saudi Official Provides New Version Of Jamal Khashoggi’s Death[/SIZE]
This narrative is the latest Saudi account that has changed multiple times.
https://s.m.huffpost.com/assets/partner-reuters-b01d8aebbd29264b97b1091b01adfcb2a4156fac6a93708b2a27a3ae383dd009.png
Marwa Rashad
10/21/2018 09:30 AM ET

https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/5bcc7eed2200001203dd9e2e.jpeg?cache=alvoo0jlpa&ops=scalefit_630_noupscale[I][SIZE=3]A file photo dated March 26, 2015 shows Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaking during a panel titled ‘Crisis in Syria: An Endless War?’ organised by Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) Foundation in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo by Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)[/SIZE][/I]

By Marwa Rashad

RIYADH (Reuters) - As Saudi Arabia faced intensifying international scepticism over its story about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior government official laid out a new version of the death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that in key respects contradicts previous explanations.

The latest account, provided by a Saudi official who requested anonymity, includes details on how the team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Khashoggi on Oct. 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted. A member of the team then dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes to make it appear as if he had left the consulate.

After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate. An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold, which the senior official reiterated.

Turkish officials suspect the body of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was cut up but the Saudi official said it was rolled up in a rug and given to a “local cooperator” for disposal. Asked about allegations that Khashoggi had been tortured and beheaded, he said preliminary results of the investigation did not suggest that.

The Saudi official presented what he said were internal Saudi intelligence documents which appeared to describe an initiative to bring dissidents home to Saudi Arabia, including the specific one involving Khashoggi. He also showed testimony from those involved in what he described as the 15-man team’s cover-up, and the initial results of an internal probe. He did not provide proof to substantiate the findings of the investigation and the other evidence.

This narrative is the latest Saudi account that has changed multiple times. The authorities initially dismissed reports that Khashoggi had gone missing inside the consulate as false and said he had left the building soon after entering. When the media reported a few days later that he had been killed there, they called the accusations “baseless.”

Asked by Reuters why the government’s version of Khashoggi’s death kept changing, the official said the government’s initial account was based on “false information reported internally at the time.”

“Once it became clear these initial mission reports were false, it launched an internal investigation and refrained from further public comment,” the official said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

Turkish sources say authorities in Turkey have an audio recording purportedly documenting Khashoggi’s murder inside the consulate but have not released it.

Riyadh dispatched a high-level delegation to Istanbul on Tuesday and ordered an internal investigation.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is not satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s handling of Khashoggi’s death and said questions remain unanswered. Germany and France on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s explanation of howKhashoggi died incomplete.

According to the latest version of the death, the government wanted to convince Khashoggi, who moved to Washington a year ago fearing reprisals for his views, to return to the kingdom as part of a campaign to prevent Saudi dissidents from being recruited by the country’s enemies, the official said.

To that end, the official said, the deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, Ahmed al-Asiri, put together a 15-member team from the intelligence and security forces to go to Istanbul, meet Khashoggi at the consulate and try to convince him to return to Saudi Arabia.

“There is a standing order to negotiate the return of dissidents peacefully; which gives them the authority to act without going back to the leadership” the official said.

“Asiri is the one who formed the team and asked for an employee who worked with (senior royal adviser Saud) al-Qahtani and who knew Jamal from the time they both worked at the embassy in London,” he said.

The official said Qahtani, who worked for the crown prince, had signed off on one of his employees conducting the negotiations.

[SIZE=5]CHOKEHOLD[/SIZE]

According to the plan, the team could hold Khashoggi in a safe house outside Istanbul for “a period of time” but then release him if he ultimately refused to return to Saudi Arabia, the official said.

Things went wrong from the start as the team overstepped their orders and quickly employed violence, the official said.

Khashoggi was ushered into the consul general’s office where an operative named Maher Mutreb spoke to him about returning to Saudi Arabia, according to the government’s account.

Khashoggi refused and told Mutreb that someone was waiting outside for him and would contact the Turkish authorities if he did not reappear within an hour, the official said.

Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has told Reuters he had handed her his two mobile phones and left instructions that she should wait for him and call an aide to Turkey’s president if he did not reappear.

Inside the consul’s office, according to the official’s account, Khashoggi told Mutreb he was violating diplomatic norms and said, “What are you going to do with me? Do you intend to kidnap me?”

Mutreb replied, “Yes, we will drug you and kidnap you,” in what the official said was an attempt at intimidation that violated the mission’s objective.

When Khashoggi raised his voice, the team panicked. They moved to restrain him, placing him in a chokehold and covering his mouth, according to the government’s account.

“They tried to prevent him from shouting but he died,” the official said. “The intention was not to kill him.”

Asked if the team had smothered Khashoggi, the official said: “If you put someone of Jamal’s age in this position, he would probably die.”
[SIZE=5]
MISSING BODY[/SIZE]

To cover up their misdeed, the team rolled up Khashoggi’s body in a rug, took it out in a consular vehicle and handed it over to a “local cooperator” for disposal, the official said. Forensic expert Salah Tubaigy tried to remove any trace of the incident, the official said.

Turkish officials have told Reuters that Khashoggi’s killers may have dumped his remains in Belgrad Forest adjacent to Istanbul, and at a rural location near the city of Yalova, 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Istanbul.

Turkish investigators are likely to find out what happened to the body “before long,” a senior official said.

The Saudi official said the local cooperator is an Istanbul resident but would not reveal his nationality. The official said investigators were trying to determine where the body ended up.

Meanwhile, operative Mustafa Madani donned Khashoggi’s clothes, eyeglasses and Apple watch and left through the back door of the consulate in an attempt to make it look like Khashoggi had walked out of the building. Madani went to the Sultanahmet district where he disposed of the belongings.

The official said the team then wrote a false report for superiors saying they had allowed Khashoggi to leave once he warned that Turkish authorities could get involved and that they had promptly left the country before they could be discovered.

Sceptics have asked why so many people, including military officers and a forensics expert specializing in autopsies, were part of the operation if the objective was to convince Khashoggi to return home of his own volition.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, a Saudi insider turned critic, has snowballed into a massive crisis for the kingdom, forcing the 82-year-old monarch, King Salman, to personally get involved. It has threatened the kingdom’s business relationships, with several senior executives and government officials shunning an investor conference in Riyadh scheduled for next week and some U.S. lawmakers putting pressure on Trump to impose sanctions and stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The official said all 15 team members had been detained and placed under investigation, along with three other local suspects.

(Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Bill Trott and Dale Hudson)

[SIZE=7]Republican Senators Doubt Saudi Arabia’s Account Of Jamal Khashoggi’s Death[/SIZE]
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the journalist’s killing.

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Of course it’s credible with the sweet scent of the 100 000 000 000 US Billion (100 Billion) defence contract hanging heavy in the room.

Fist-fight angowa, fist fight which causes a man’s [COLOR=rgb(226, 80, 65)]tool to be peeled off from his body?


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Try fracking yourself.