Graham Slams Khashoggi Investigation, Points to Saudi Royal Family

A woman walks in front of a mural painting depicting the Iranian flag in the capital Tehran

The Washington Post reported that Turkey had informed United States officials about audio and video recordings suggesting that the journalist had been murdered in the Saudi Consulate, while Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, denied he was trying to give cover to Saudi leaders over Khashoggi's disappearance, a day after he cautioned against assuming Saudi leaders were guilty in the case until proven innocent.

"It is 500,000 jobs, it will be ultimately US$110 billion, it's the biggest order in the history of our country from an outside military, and I said we are gonna turn that down?"

Saudi Arabia promised to ensure a thorough probe and accountability over a missing Saudi journalist but stood by denials the kingdom killed him, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday, as he paid a supportive visit to the under-fire ally.

"If I were the State Department's spokesperson, on an official trip to learn more about the dark, dubious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a USA resident, I probably would have skipped the tourist-in-Riyadh photos".

"You don't know whether or not we have, do you?" he asked, before adding, "I'm not going to tell you".

As major corporations and lobbying firms distance themselves from Saudi Arabia, President Donald Trump has brought up the possibility that Khashoggi was murdered by rogue killers. They were very clear: "they understand the important of this issue, they are determined to get to the bottom of it", Mr Pompeo said of King Salman and the crown prince.

Police officials told The Washington Post last week that such recordings of Saudi officials existed and supported the allegation that Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi personnel inside the consulate.

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Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday seeking answers about the Khashoggi case. But he says the consequences for the Saudis "will have to be very severe" if they are found to have killed him.

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A New York Times report, citing witnesses and other records, linked four suspects to Crown Prince Mohamed's security detail. "Saudi Arabia, if you're listening, there are a lot of good people you can choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself". "Saudi Arabia is poised to play a large role in the United States zone of control in northern and eastern Syria and will go beyond simply donating a large sum of money to the stabilization effort".

Turkish investigators believe the journalist's fingers were chopped off one-by-one and he was then sawn up while still alive by a hit squad directed by one of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's personal bodyguards.

Saudi officials have not responded to repeated requests for comment from the AP in recent days, including Wednesday.

Trump defended himself on Monday, tweeting that "I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russian Federation, for that matter)". Donald Trump is demanding answers over the disappearance, and British tycoon Sir Richard Branson and Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi are among the business leaders to have suspended ties with Saudi Arabia as pressure grows on the Gulf state.

While, according to CNN, Saudi Arabia was planning to release a report saying that Khashoggi had died during an interrogation gone wrong, these recordings, according to both Middle East Eye and the Wall Street Journal, show no evidence of an interrogation.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, and top executives from Societe Generale and Glencore joined a growing list of executives who have pulled out.

Pompeo welcomed the Turkish decision to release USA pastor Andrew Brunson and "reiterated the United States' willingness to assist Turkey in its investigation of the Jamal Khashoggi case", read the statement. Saudi Arabia is engaged in a bloody civil war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians and exacerbated a starvation that has killed many more.

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