- Trump tweeted that he has spoken to Saudi King Salman, 82, about the missing Washington Post columnist’s disappearance
- Journalist Jamal Khashoggi went to Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October
- He has not been seen since and Turkish officials fear he has been murdered
- Saudis deny allegations and have ordered internal investigation into mystery
- Oil prices rose after Saudi Arabia issued a thinly veiled threat to cut production
- Cleaners were seen entering the consulate just hours before joint inspection
President Trump said Monday that he has spoken to Saudi’s King Salman about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and he ‘firmly denied’ any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance.
Trump said that he would send a top U.S. official, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to Middle East to confront Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in person – but wouldn’t say whether he believed the Saudi leader’s ‘flat’ denial of wrongdoing in a 20-minute phone conversation.
The president had a theory of his own as to what may have happened to the Saudi-born writer who Turkey says was lured to his death earlier this month.
He suggested without evidence that ‘rogue killers’ could have been responsible for the disappearance that Trump indicated he also believes is a murder.
As he left the White House to board Marine One on the South Lawn, the president said the king’s denial ‘could not have been stronger’ and that is all he currently has to go off of.
‘He said it very strongly,’ Trump said when pressed to give his assessment of the Saudi king’s trustworthiness.