USA officials turn ire on Saudi Crown Prince, Trump remains cautious

Jamal Khashoggi in Yemen after the country’s civil war. Khashoggi was Roth’s friend and mentor when she was a young reporter on a fellowship stu

Saudi king removes top officials as probe shows Khashoggi died

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia's explanation of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a "good first step but not enough", adding it was premature to discuss any sanctions against Riyadh over the incident.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he will "go into detail" about the Khashoggi case in a speech in parliament on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump, who has been reluctant to punish Saudi Arabia for its suspected hand in the Washington Post columnist's death, said Saturday that "obviously there's been deception, and there's been lies" in the Kingdom's response to the incident.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the journalist's killing.

The Gulf kingdom admitted on Friday that Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its Istanbul consulate but claimed he died after a fight broke out. "We feel their pain", he said.

Saudi Arabia is the UK's key ally in the region and also a significant trading partner and Britain rolled out the red carpet when the Crown Prince visited in March.

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Corker said he believed bin Salman directed a Saudi operation where Khashoggi, a journalist who wrote for The Washington Post, was "purposefully murdered" and that he wanted a complete investigation to bear out the facts.

Saudi Arabia's explanation about the death of a dissident journalist is not credible but the United Kingdom is not preparing to terminate it relationship with the state, a Cabinet minister has said.

Al-Jubeir offered his condolences to Khashoggi's family and said he wanted to "make sure those who are responsible are punished".

Also Sunday, images that were obtained by TRT World, a Turkish news channel that broadcasts in English, showed Khashoggi as he arrived at a police barrier before entering the consulate on October 2. "The intention was not to kill him".

Trump initially said he believed the Saudi account, but on Saturday he said he still does not know where Khashoggi's body is.

Trump said Saturday that he wasn't satisfied with Saudi Arabia's latest response, and again said canceling a $110 billion arms deal with the country would hurt the USA "far more than it hurts them".

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"We believe the USA will keep Saudi Arabia as its close ally given (amongst other things) the importance of the kingdom in the Middle East region and being the producer of 10 per cent of the world oil supply". But what happened is unacceptable.

Raab told the BBC that there was a "serious question mark over the account that has been given", adding, "We support the Turkish investigation into it and the British government wants to see people held to account for that death". "It's only a first step, but it's a big first step". He adds Saudi officials do not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains.

Three officials told Reuters that Trump's relationship with his son-in-law has not been ruptured by Kushner's ties to the crown prince.

"Nobody has told me he's responsible". We haven't reached that point. Nobody has told me he's not responsible. And while he described the crown prince's vision for the future as "impressive", Corker contrasted it with drastic moves in recent memory to jail high profile Saudis in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton, a flareup with Lebanon and the crown prince's "rookie mistake" in handling a blockade of Qatar.

"But I do think it's sort of baked into the president's stock price", he said.

"The strategic relationship is important for both countries", he said.

Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death 'a good first step'
Turkish government sources have claimed that Mr Khashoggi was tortured and murdered by a hit squad flown in from Riyadh. And it happened, and I hate to tell you, over the last 18 months and we're now the biggest in the world, Trump said.

He said no one in his administration had heard audio or seen video of what transpired in the Saudi Consulate or had reviewed transcripts of any recordings.

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