Trump hints that Mnuchin may skip Saudi conference

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Saudi Arabia will allow Turkey to search its consulate in Istanbul Monday afternoon, almost two weeks after prominent journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the consulate on October 2.

President Trump, however, suggested Monday that "rogue killers" may be the reason for Khashoggi's disappearance.

"The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial worldwide commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death", the family said. He was undertaking a flurry of engagements with top officials in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

"I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe it could have been rogue killers, who knows?"

But privately, others are now questioning whether the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the man once hailed as a visionary saviour of Saudi Arabia, has gone too far.

The controversy has troubled Saudi's traditional Western allies - who are key arms suppliers to the kingdom - and also undermined efforts by Mohammed bin Salman to present himself as a modernising ruler. Turkish authorities say he was killed in the Istanbul consulate by a Saudi hit squad and his body dismembered and disposed of.

Speaking on Monday about the potential cost for Saudi Arabia, Trump only told the media that "the world is watching".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on late Sunday held a phone talk with the Saudi King to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, when he urged Saudi Arabia to explain Khashoggi's fate and provide evidence that Khashoggi exited the building after entering.

"I think one of the strong things that we can do is not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but most importantly, get out of this awful, bad war in Yemen led by the Saudis", Sen.

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Trump defended himself on Monday, tweeting that "I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russian Federation , for that matter)".

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Britain, Germany and France have jointly called for a "credible investigation, ' Egypt has backed Saudi Arabia and warned of "false claims" against its ally and Australia's foreign minister has said she is 'deeply concerned".

Trump tweeted early Monday that Salman denied any knowledge of "whatever may have happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen'".

Speaking to reporters in the White House this morning, Trump said King Salman's denial "could not have been stronger".

Trump promised "severe punishment" for whoever was to blame in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday.

As part of a growing global backlash against the Saudi government, some prominent business leaders and companies have said they will no longer attend a high-profile investment conference scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia later this month.

However, unconfirmed reports in the United States media suggest Saudi Arabia is preparing to admit that Mr Khashoggi died as a result of an interrogation that went wrong and that the original intention had been to abduct him.

Jamal Khashoggi, who was notoriously critical of Saudi Arabia's new Crown Prince, entered the consulate on 2 October to get documents to marry his Turkish wife - but has not been seen since.

But he has said repeatedly that he does not want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia - as some in Congress have said he should - because it would harm the United States economically.

On Monday, King Salman ordered an investigation into the case. At this moment there are no plans to change the Formula E calendar this season.

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