Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Khashoggi disappearance

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama Bahrain. Turkish claims that Khashoggi who wrote for The Washington Post was slain inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey has put

Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since he went missing in Istanbul on October 2

President Donald Trump said he spoke to Saudi Arabia's King Salman and that he "denies any knowledge" about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who has been living in the U.S.

Turkish sources have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the building and his body removed, allegations that Riyadh dismisses as baseless.

James Dorsey, a fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said Saudi Arabia was stepping up moves against criticism.

Billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - who was among those temporarily detained as part of what Saudi authorities said was an anti-corruption crackdown - tweeted an image of the Saudi flag Sunday in support of the ruling family, saying: "God, then the king, then the nation".

Many lurid accounts of Khashoggi's alleged death have appeared in the Turkish press, based on apparent government sources, but ministers overall have been wary of repeating the claims in public.

The statement was issued as global concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.

Saudi Arabia appears to be increasingly cornered.

But in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance, many media and entertainment companies have been distancing themselves from the kingdom. But Khashoggi's disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh called the Future Investment Initiative.

Freeland said she was alarmed by Badawi's imprisonment and called for the release of "peaceful" human rights activists - a statement that prompted the Middle Eastern kingdom's governing monarchy to virtually sever all ties with Canada. CEO Bob Bakish, Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong and World Bank President Jim Yong-kim, who have announced their decision not to attend.

The head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, is one of the latest high-profile executives to pull out.

Donald Trump has been Riyadh's strongest ally over the past 18 months and the kingdom is aware it must do as little as possible to alienate either the White House or key senators in Congress.

But the president has also said "we would be punishing ourselves" by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Experts now suspect that the Apple Watch recordings may have been fabricated by Turkish authorities to hide covert surveillance of the Saudi consulate, reports suggest.

Khashoggi was USA resident and wrote articles for The Washington Post, splitting his time between Virginia, London, and Istanbul since he left Saudi Arabia in June 2017. Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, an influential United Arab Emirates tycoon, called for an Arab boycott of all USA firms who have withdrawn from the conference.

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