U.S. working with Turkey, Saudi Arabia on journalist probe: Donald Trump

The image taken from Turkey's Daily Sabah shows 15 Saudi operatives suspected of having killed Kamal Khashoggi upon his arrival at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

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Khashoggi's disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

"Would be nice to definitively rule out that the Saudis are paying the president massive bribes in exchange for tacit approval for murdering critics!"

Khashoggi, a wealthy former government insider who had been living in the U.S.in self-imposed exile, had gone to the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get paperwork he needed for his upcoming marriage while his Turkish fiancee waited outside.

Anonymous Turkish officials have describing the incident as a "premeditated murder", saying the journalist was killed inside the consulate and that his dismembered body was subsequently moved out of the building.

Since Khashoggi's disappearance, the Trump administration has come under increasing pressure to press the Riyadh government for details about his whereabouts.

A source told the Post that prior to Khashoggi going missing, US intelligence intercepted Saudi officials' communications, which revealed a plan to capture Khashoggi and get him to Saudi Arabia.

Mr Trump told reporters he had talked to the Saudi authorities "at the highest level" about Mr Khashoggi.

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Khashoggi has not been seen since October 2 when he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain official documents for his upcoming marriage. "And they should be cooperating with us".

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish media outlets published CCTV footage which they say shows evidence of a plot linked to Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

In this May 20, 2017, file photo, US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, Mohammed bin Salman, has done so many times.

Saudi officials say the journalist left the consulate after his brief visit, rejecting the Turkish claims as baseless.

As the Times notes, officials in Turkey "have left things murky enough" by "speaking on condition of anonymity and refusing to publicly disclose their evidence", which means that much of the reporting remains unverified and the lack of concrete evidence at this point leaves room for the possibility that Khashoggi was abducted from the consulate, but not killed.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the US since a year ago. He said his aides have been in contact with Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and hope to set up a meeting with her at the White House. Saudi Arabia denies knowing anything about his fate, saying that he left the building.

It's unclear what the USA knows about Khashoggi's disappearance, but Trump did cast some doubt on the rumors that Khashoggi was murdered. Saudi Arabia is a very rich country.

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"Well we're looking at it very, very seriously", Trump said.

Longtime diplomat Aaron David Miller, who has negotiated Middle East policy on behalf of multiple administrations, tweeted following Khashoggi's death: 'If Saudis were involved in Jamal's death or disappearance, that's obviously on them.

"We can not let this happen, to reporters, to anyone".

Tawakkol Karman, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2011 holds a picture of missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi as she speaks to journalists near the Saudi Arabia consulate, in Istanbul, Turkey.

If confirmed, it would offer proof that the Saudi government was attempting to silence Mr Khashoggi.

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

The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a contributor, published a surveillance image Tuesday showing the Saudi reporter at the consulate.

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