Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability

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I would like to comment on the current situation regarding the journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in 2017, and had recently been living in the US where he served as an opinion columnist for The Washington Post newspaper, writing critically of the Saudi royal family and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and warning of efforts to stifle the free press in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has threatened to retaliate against any punitive action, but analysts say that wielding its main weapon - oil production - could backfire, putting the prince's economic goals even further out of reach.

In a statement issued early Saturday morning in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, the Saudis claimed that some number of unnamed "suspects" had traveled to the consulate to meet with Khashoggi, "as there were indications of the possibility of his returning" to Saudi Arabia.

'He's seen as a person who can keep things under check, ' Trump said of Bin Salman to the Washington Post in an interview late Saturday, adding in, 'I mean that in a positive way'.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Foreign policy expert James Carafano reacts to Saudi Arabia's account of what happened.

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He has remained largely silent on the case, although Turkey's pro-government newspapers have released information detailing a 15-member team that purportedly arrived in Istanbul to confront Khashoggi at the consulate.

Officials initially insisted Mr. Khashoggi had walked out of the.

The Saudi government has fired five intelligence officials, including Deputy Chief of General Intelligence Ahmad bin Hassan Asiri and royal court advisor Abdullah Al-Qahtani.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded urgent clarification on Khashoggi's killing.

The Saudi stock market is down about 4 percent since Khashoggi disappeared on Oct 2.

[Saudi claims that Khashoggi died in a "brawl" draw immediate skepticism] Turkey's reaction to the Saudi admission is being closely watched because of the conflicting stories and because Turkish authorities are said to possess evidence, including audiotapes, that could reveal exactly how Khashoggi was killed.

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In a statement Sunday, the governments said attacks on journalists are unacceptable and "of utmost concern to our three nations".

Earlier Friday, Sanders said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to the crown prince and briefed the president and John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser.

While Corker said he does believe that Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, was "purposefully murdered" in a Saudi operation directed by the Crown Prince, he says he still wants to see a completed investigation.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally".

The king also ordered a restructuring of the intelligence service, to be led by Prince Mohammed, suggesting the prince still retained wide-ranging authority.

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