Bipartisan Senate Group Forces U.S. Probe of Saudi Journalist's Disappearance

Footage emerges of 15-member Saudi intelligence team arriving in Istanbul

The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that it did not dismiss the possibility that Khashoggi's sudden disappearance was an attempt to silence the writer.

White House press secretary said senior White House officials, including Pompeo, had contacted Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Tuesday, and asked for more information about what happened on October 2, the last day Khashoggi was seen.

A Turkish official told the New York Times on the condition of anonymity that a team of Saudi agents killed the 59-year-old writer within two hours of his arrival at the consulate, and then dismembered his body with a bone saw they had brought for the objective. Though Riyadh has dismissed the allegation as "baseless", their possible consent to a search shows the increasing worldwide pressure the kingdom faces over Khashoggi's disappearance.

'Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then had a follow up call with the Crown Prince to reiterate the United States request for information.

"To me, this is just one more reason why we should be very suspect about selling arms to the Saudis", Paul told Shannon Bream, host of 'Fox News @ Night.' "If they have the ability and also the audacity to go into another country and kill a journalist, these aren't the kind of people maybe that we want to be selling arms to".

Khashoggi was last seen visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, and Turkey says he may have been murdered there.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday that he has a call in to his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz. It was not clear whether the Saudis meant to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, this person said.

The White House also revealed in a statement by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that two senior officials, the national security advisor and Trump's son-in-law, have contacted the Saudis on the matter.

Rep. Gerry Connelly, in a WaPo video, called Khashoggi's disappearance "one of the most profoundly disturbing developments in global diplomacy" and has called for a full investigation.

Surveillance footage from outside the consulate shows Mr Khashoggi entering the consulate on October 2.

News channel 24 aired the video Wednesday, suggesting that Khashoggi was inside of the black Mercedes Vito.

About two hours later, Aksam showed two vehicles, one of them a black Mercedes Vito van with tinted windows and diplomatic plates, leaving the consulate and entering the auto park of the residence shortly afterwards.

The Saudi consulate and other authorities have not commented on the claims.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who golfed with Trump last weekend, warned on Wednesday "there will be hell to pay" if Saudi responsibility is proven.

The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as an "assassination squad" apparently taken at passport control. Whatever took place, Corker said, "there was Saudi involvement" and "everything points to them". The private DHA agency said the planes, which it identified as a two Gulfstream jets belonging to a Riyadh-based company that hires private aircraft, landed at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the day Khashoggi vanished.

Cengiz has pleaded for President Donald Trump to help with the search for him amid fading hope that he remains alive.

Khashoggi, who wrote critically for the Post about Prince Mohammed's rise to power, also sought to become a USA citizen, Cengiz wrote.

Turkish officials say he was killed by Saudi agents during the visit.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Tuesday that Saudi authorities have notified Ankara that they were "open to co-operation" and would allow the consulate building to be searched. "And we want to get to the bottom of it", he replied, adding he spoke to Saudi officials "at the highest level. more than once" over the past couple of days.



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