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15 Oct, 2018 13:30

Trump sending Mike Pompeo to meet Saudi King ‘immediately’ over missing journalist

Trump sending Mike Pompeo to meet Saudi King ‘immediately’ over missing journalist

US President Donald Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia after the king denied having any knowledge about the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a Monday morning tweet, Trump said that King Salman “denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened” to Khashoggi and that Riyadh is “working closely with Turkey” to find answers. Pompeo will “immediately” travel to meet the Saudi king, Trump wrote.

Trump had previously threatened Saudi Arabia with “severe punishment” if it was found to be involved in the disappearance and potential murder of the journalist — a threat which prompted the Saudi stock market to plunge.

Khashoggi, who has been a critic of the Saudi regime in his columns for the Washington Post, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.

Turkey believes that he was murdered and dismembered inside the building by a 15-person Saudi team which entered and left the country on the same day. Ankara claims it even has video and audio evidence of the killing, but has not made it public.

White House reporter for CBS Kathryn Watson said Trump has told reporters Pompeo will leave "within an hour".