Donald Trump vows ‘severe punishment’ if Saudi Arabia murdered journalist

WWE are being urged to cancel one of their biggest shows of the year due to the disappearance of a journalist

WWE are being urged to cancel one of their biggest shows of the year due to the disappearance of a journalist

US President Donald Trump said Monday night he had seen a media report that Saudi Arabia might say prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in an unauthorised interrogation but "nobody knows if it is an official report".

Mediaite reports the CNN claim is that the Middle East nation is preparing a report that will admit Khashoggi's death.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of the Saudi government, was last seen alive on October 2, entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to get marriage-related paperwork processed.

One source cautioned that the report was still being prepared and could change, CNN said.

Mr Trump has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and is under global and domestic pressure to help determine what happened to Mr Khashoggi and punish Saudi Arabia if investigations show its government had him killed. In an apparent response to Trump's comments, a Saudi official said if any moves were taken against the kingdom "it will respond with greater action".

President Trump raised the possibility today that "rogue killers" were behind the Saudi journalist's disappearance, not the kingdom's leaders.

US President Donald Trump earlier Monday said he had spoken with Saudi Arabia's King Salman who strongly denied the kingdom's involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

A senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, has met Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters without providing details of the talks.

The controversy has troubled Saudi's traditional Western allies - who are key arms suppliers to the kingdom - and also undermined efforts by Mohamed bin Salman to present himself as a modernising ruler.

This message had been conveyed "directly to the Saudi authorities", said the statement, signed by Britain's foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany's Heiko Maas.

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A Gulf banker said the Khashoggi case, combined with other events, had become a significant factor for some potential investors in Saudi Arabia and that her bank was receiving many queries from foreign clients on how to interpret it.

"It would lead to Saudi Arabia's failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels".

Turkish officials said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, allegations the Saudi kingdom has dismissed as "baseless", however, it has not presented evidence of the journalist leaving the consulate.

"Saudi Arabia is the biggest economy of the region, and the current reform plans rely on opening it further to private investment", said Karen Young, a political economist who studies the Gulf states.

Nobel Peace Prize victor Tawakkol Karman of Yemen talks during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey Oct 8, 2018.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents, but Riyadh insists that he left the consulate unharmed. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on October 2.

Saudi Arabia's riyal currency retreated overnight to 3.7525 to the dollar - its weakest in two years.

Prince Mohammed told Reuters a year ago that Blackstone and BlackRock Inc were planning to open offices in the kingdom.

The Washington Post reported evidence has been shared with US authorities.

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