United States to revoke visas of Saudis implicated in killing of writer

United States to revoke visas of Saudis implicated in killing of writer

US President Donald Trump has criticised Saudi Arabia's handling of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying authorities staged the "worst cover-up ever". "They've been one of the biggest investors, maybe the biggest investor in our country", he said.

'Very simple. Bad deal, should have never been thought of. "Somebody really messed up", Trump said Tuesday.

Erdoğan said that of the 18 men arrested by Saudi Arabia in the investigation, 15 were those already identified by Turkish police as members of the hit squad who flew in and out of Istanbul on the same day Khashoggi was killed.

That leaves open questions such as whether the Saudi operation in Istanbul was always meant to result in Khashoggi's death or whether the original plan was to kidnap and transport him to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Khashoggi, and Erdogan.

Despite those changes in the Saudis' story, the Trump administration has consistently defended the USA relationship with Saudi Arabia as a "strong partnership" based on "shared strategic interests", as Pompeo said.

"We are seeking answers".

Erdogan on Tuesday publicly challenged Saudi explanations and declared the killing a "ferocious" premeditated murder, demanding that Saudi Arabia hold accountable those responsible.

He also mentioned that the usage of the Vienna Convention, which offers diplomatic immunity, was "a matter of debate" in Khashoggi's case.

"In terms of what we ultimately do, I'm going to leave it very much - in conjunction with me - I'm going to leave it up to Congress", Trump said, adding he hopes a decision will be bipartisan.

The secretary of state made the announcement during a press conference just moments after President Trump called the slaying "one of the worst cover-ups". "Neither the president or I am happy with this situation".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the "savage murder" of the journalist was meticulously planned, and demanded that all those linked to the killing face punishment.

CIA Director Gina Haspel is traveling to Ankara, where she's expected to review the evidence Turkish investigators have gathered - possibly including audio recordings that anonymous investigators have spoken about to journalists, but that have not been shared to date, according to Turkish officials.

Khashoggi went missing on Oct 2 when he entered the consulate in Istanbul. "We expect the same sensitivity from all parties, primarily the Saudi Arabian leadership", he said.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said the entire operation was a fiasco.

Turkish state media said investigators found three suitcases, a laptop computer and clothing inside a auto belonging to the Saudi consulate.

Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Khalid bin Salman, a brother of the crown prince, wrote October 8 that Khashoggi had left, and that claims the kingdom "have detained him or killed him are absolutely false, and baseless". Erdogan is known to have a dim view of the crown prince and sees him as a rival for influence in the Middle East. "Who are these people receiving orders from?"

Erdogan on Tuesday also accused Saudi officials of planning the killing days before Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate and said the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body were still unknown.

"They are coming back tonight and tomorrow and I will know very soon".

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