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Trump says he’s spoken with Saudi officials about missing journalist

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUniversity offering course on ‘Trumpaganda’ Fiancee of missing Saudi journalist appeals to Trump for help Grassley says he wouldn’t consider a Supreme Court nomination in 2020 MORE mentioned Wednesday he’s spoken with Saudi officers concerning the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi however didn’t present extra details about Khashoggi’s standing.

Trump didn’t specify additional, solely saying that these in Saudi Arabia he spoke with had been at “the best degree” and that they spoke “greater than as soon as.”

“It is a very unhappy state of affairs, it is a very unhealthy state of affairs,” Trump instructed reporters throughout a briefing within the Oval Workplace on Hurricane Michael.

“We can’t let this occur — to reporters, to anyone,” he added.

The president added that the White Home has been in touch with Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, about visiting with the president and the primary girl.

Cengiz penned an op-ed in The Washington Put up on Tuesday during which she pleaded with Trump and first girl Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFiancee of missing Saudi journalist appeals to Trump for help Ad mocks Cruz for making up with Trump: ‘If somebody called my wife a dog, I wouldn’t ‘be kissing their ass’ Cut Melania some slack: First lady’s solo trip to Africa could be productive MORE to assist in the seek for what occurred to Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to the Put up.

Nationwide safety adviser John Bolton and White Home senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump: Kanye West is ‘a smart guy’ The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Haley resigns as UN ambassador | Will back Trump in 2020 | Kavanaugh hears first cases on high court Haley calls Jared Kushner Trump’s ‘hidden genius’ MORE phoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on Tuesday to ask for details about Khashoggi, in response to the White Home.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoFiancee of missing Saudi journalist appeals to Trump for help Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Haley shocks Washington with resignation | Turkish officials reportedly conclude Saudis killed journalist | Trump eyes second Kim summit after midterms GOP on timing of Haley’s announcement: ‘Unusual’ and ‘odd’ MORE then had a follow-up name with the crown prince, who has shut ties to a number of Trump administration officers, together with Kushner. 

“In each calls, they requested for extra particulars and for the Saudi authorities to be clear within the investigation course of,” White Home press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders mentioned in a press release.

Wednesday’s replace marked Trump’s most in-depth feedback about Khashoggi’s case since he first disappeared final week.

Khashoggi was final seen coming into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul final week. Turkish officials have concluded that he was murdered there and that his physique was dismembered on orders from Saudi management, in response to The New York Instances.

Trump on Wednesday mentioned he is hopeful Khashoggi just isn’t lifeless and declined to say whether or not he would maintain Saudi Arabia accountable if the journalist was murdered.

“I’ve to search out out who did it,” he mentioned. “However folks noticed him go in, however they didn’t see him come out, as they perceive it, and we’re going to be taking a really critical have a look at it.”

Khashoggi’s disappearance has raised considerations amongst U.S. lawmakers, together with numerous Republican senators. He was a Washington Put up columnist, and an outspoken critic of Saudi management.

Trump had beforehand avoided making intensive feedback about his disappearance, solely telling reporters that he was “involved” and calling it a “unhappy state of affairs.”

Vice President Pence indicated in an interview broadcast Wednesday morning that he’d be open to sending a group of FBI brokers to Turkey to analyze Khashoggi’s case, and he known as reviews of Khashoggi’s dying regarding to “everybody that cares as a free and open press world wide.”

Trump has fostered a constructive relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed, as the 2 leaders have paid one another official visits of their respective residence nations.

Nevertheless, numerous senators have warned that Khashoggi’s reported homicide, if confirmed, can be a turning point in U.S.-Saudi relations.

“If it did occur there can be hell to pay,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGrassley says he wouldn’t consider a Supreme Court nomination in 2020 GOP on timing of Haley’s announcement: ‘Unusual’ and ‘odd’ Washington Post on missing Saudi journalist: ‘We demand to know the truth’ MORE (R-S.C.) mentioned earlier Wednesday. “This hangs over the connection like a really heavy cloud. They’ve been a very good ally in sharing intelligence and dealing with frequent enemies … nevertheless there can be no move given if it did occur.”

Jordan Fabian contributed.

Up to date at 1:32 p.m.

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