National security adviser John Bolton and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, talked with Salman on Tuesday, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a follow-up call with the Saudi leader to reiterate the USA demand for information about the case, the White House said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said national security adviser John Bolton and presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner spoke on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) to Crown Prince Mohammed about Mr Khashoggi. It's a very sad situation. "We don't like it and we're going to get to the bottom of it", he added.
President Trump on Wednesday appeared reluctant to consider blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the disappearance last week of a Washington Post columnist after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Rubio is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has called for an investigation into whether Saudi Arabia should face human rights sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The dissident Saudi journalist's Turkish colleagues and several Turkish officials have voiced concerns that he was murdered in the consulate.
Turkey has accused Saudi Arabia of killing Khashoggi or transporting him against his will back to Saudi Arabia.
Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he has suspended his role on the board of Saudi Arabia's planned mega city NEOM until more is known about Khashoggi.
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The Washington Post, where Khashoggi had been a regular contributor over the past year, also demanded answers. "Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable".
"Jamal has many friends in the Kingdom, including myself, and despite our differences, and his choice to go into his so called 'self-exile, ' we still maintained regular contact when he was in Washington", Khalid bin Salman added.
Saudi Arabia has vehemently denied any involvement in his disappearance and insists that Mr Khashoggi left the consulate safely after filing paperwork ahead of his forthcoming marriage to his Turkish fiancée.
He has been critical the monarchy's continued arrest of critics on both the left and right, despite its professed reforms.
Saudi Arabia has called the allegation "baseless" but has offered no proof that Khashoggi left the consulate alive, nor has Turkey produced evidence that he was killed inside the diplomatic outpost.
Turkish media has published images of an alleged 15-member Saudi "assassination squad" and video of suspicious movements at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul following journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance a week ago.
Erdogan: Saudis must prove missing reporter left consulate
Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée. Khashoggi has not been seen since his fiancee saw him enter the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
"I've never heard of an embassy in my life that doesn't tape", he said. The Saudis, for their part, have not turned over any CCTV footage of his exit.
This brings up the question of if the intelligence agencies were obligated to warn Khashoggi about the imminent peril when he prepared to depart for his home country.
USA intelligence officials reportedly intercepted communications that the Saudis discussed a plan to lure and capture Khashoggi before his disappearance.
The reports that have surfaced over the past days of what happened on that day indicate such an operation might have gone wrong, with Turkish officials saying Khashoggi was likely murdered inside the mission.
But State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters they had no such tip.
Turkish newspaper Sabah, without saying how it obtained the information, reported that on the day Khashoggi went missing, two jets arrived from Riyadh to Istanbul carrying 15 passengers, then returned home later that day via Egypt and Dubai.
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The issue threatened the strong relationship the Trump administration has constructed with Mohammed Bin Salman.