Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

Missing journalist has made Trump's Saudi bet much riskier

Missing journalist has made Trump's Saudi bet much riskier

If there really were to be an global backlash that led to investors pulling out, cutoff of substantial foreign investment in Saudi Arabia, Saudis, rich families, moving their money out of the country - which I understand is already happening at an accelerating rate - then those economic plans become even more hard to fulfill than they are in good times.

Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of SC and one of the kingdom's biggest defenders, angrily rejected the Saudi denials that Trump repeated.

New reporting overnight could escalate a diplomatic crisis between the USA and Saudi Arabia.

Now several news outlets - in Turkey and the USA - have reported the existence of audio tapes which they say prove this.

"I hope we're going to be on the better side of the equation", the president said on Fox Business as he stressed the importance Saudi Arabia in a range of issues at the heart of his policies in the Middle East.

"We have asked for it, if it exists", the president said.

The Turks are leading the investigation and have at times faced some difficulties with the Saudis, who did not grant them entry to the consulate until Monday and stalled Turkish police looking to inspect the Saudi consul general's residence until Wednesday.

A New York Times report, citing witnesses and other records, linked four suspects to Crown Prince Mohamed's security detail.

"I do think it's important that everyone keep in their mind that we have lots of important relationships - financial relationships between USA and Saudi companies, governmental relationships, things we work on together all across the world, the efforts to" counter Iran, Pompeo said to reporters in Brussels.

So far there is no guarantee that the world will get any proof of Saudi Arabia's account of Khashoggi's death, beyond being asked to take the kingdom's word for it.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he did not want to abandon ally Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of a Saudi journalist and has asked for audio recordings Turkish sources say indicate he was killed by Saudi agents.

President Trump echoed Pompeo on the importance of the USA relationship with Saudi Arabia in an interview with Fox Business News this morning.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied covering up for ally Saudi Arabia in the suspected murder of a critical journalist, saying that he should know what happened to Jamal Khashoggi within days.

On Oct. 2, Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document he needed to marry his fiancee, a Turkish citizen.

Saudi Arabia should also focus on re-establishing the machinery of Yemen's government, she said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is putting a planned trip to Saudi Arabia on hold pending the outcome of an investigation into the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. Trump appeared willing to resist the pressure to follow suit, accepting Saudi denials and their pledge to investigate.

U.S. media and officials have called on Ankara to release the evidence, but the Turkish investigators have not done so yet.

One of the Saudis reportedly replied: "Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia".

Prominent US newspapers have reported, citing anonymous sources, that Saudi officials may soon acknowledge Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate but blame it on a botched intelligence operation.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

Some believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (pictured above) had Khashoggi killed, and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is among a handful of well-known names vowing to punish the Saudis. Erdogan said there had been "a couple of delays", according to Pompeo, but the Turks feel confident now the Saudis will admit them to the consulate to perform their investigation.

Pompeo said: "They made a commitment to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found accountable for that, whether they are a senior officer or official".

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