Search for Jamal Khashoggi takes police to forest in Istanbul, resort town

Turkey Inspects Saudi Consulate in Case of Missing Journalist

Trump, who has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that Khashoggi had been murdered. "He has not heard a tape", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Saudi Arabia denies the killing but, under pressure from Britain, France and Germany, only recently began an investigation.

Critics accused the president of being weak and giving the Saudi regime a potential way out if they did sanction the murder of Mr Khashoggi. Riyadh strongly denies the allegations and said it is investigating the disappearance of the journalist, who was critical of Saudi rulers, calling for reforms.

Marking a shift in tone from his earlier comments, Trump said he was waiting for details from "about three different investigations so we can get to the bottom of" Khoshoggi's disappearance. "But we'll see what happens", Trump told reporters when asked what would be the consequences of such an unfortunate incident.

Khashoggi's disappearance and likely death has caused an worldwide outcry and strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States and European countries.

By casting doubt on whether the United States will respond at all, Pompeo reflected the internal struggle among Trump and his national security advisers on what to do should the Saudi leadership be blamed for what happened to Khashoggi. Increasingly upset USA lawmakers are condemning the Saudis and questioning the seriousness with which Trump and his top aides are taking the matter, while Trump has emphasized the billions of dollars in weapons the Saudis purchase from the United States.

Shortly after Trump and Pompeo met at the White House, Mnuchin announced that after consulting the president and his top diplomat "I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia".

"We're working with the intelligence from numerous countries", he said. "This is the best intelligence we could have". The same man wore lapel pins, including one of the flags of Saudi Arabia and America intertwined, that other bodyguards accompanying the crown prince wore on the trip.

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Global concern over the case has led to many business and political figures pulling out of an upcoming conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Khashoggi worked as an opinion columnist at The Washington Post newspaper, and has written critically of the Saudi government and its crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman.

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