Pompeo demands U.S. network to withdraw false quote on Khashoggi

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Executives at major companies including Ford, JP Morgan, and Uber have pulled out of a big investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. Turkish officials and media outlets citing unidentified sources allege that the 59-year-old Washington Post contributor was murdered inside the consulate.

"We made clear to them that we take this matter very seriously", Pompeo said. "It's bad, bad stuff".

Trump spoke hours after receiving an update from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the results of Pompeo's emergency talks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey this week.

The Australian government is resisting joining global retribution against Saudi Arabia for the suspected torture, murder and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi pending a global investigation into the incident.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Turkish investigators spent nearly nine hours searching the Saudi consul's residence, before moving on to the consulate itself about 200m away, according to Reuters news agency.

Khashoggi had lived in the United States in self-imposed exile since 2017 and the Trump administration is under mounting pressure, including from Republican lawmakers, to hold the Saudi government, an ally and major buyer of American defence equipment, to account.

"There are more structural problems with the relationship (between the US and Saudi Arabia) that relate to Mohammed bin Salman's consolidation of power", said Barbara A. Leaf, senior fellow at The Washington Institute and former USA ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.




Later in the day, Trump told reporters that "it certainly looks like" Khashoggi was dead.

Stephen Colbert has mocked President Donald Trump for his perceived soft-pedaling of suspicions that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in a Saudi Arabian consulate.

Jamal Khashoggi was last seen in security camera footage while walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul's Levent district on October 2 from its rear entrance. "I've heard no tape, I've seen no transcript", Pompeo told reporters in the only question he would take on the topic.

"It certainly looks that way to me", Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews when asked if Khashoggi was dead.

"Canada has said this with a very strong voice".

Also Friday, Turkey's pro-government Sabah newspaper printed more surveillance camera photographs showing members of a Saudi team that was allegedly brought in to Turkey to dispose of Khashoggi. Authorities have not said specifically what they found, although technicians carried out bags and boxes from the consul general's home. And a senior USA official said Pompeo had warned the Saudi crown prince that his credibility as a future leader was at stake, reflecting the administration's concern about how the case could affect relations.

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