- The Washington Times - Monday, October 15, 2018

President Trump said Monday that the Saudi king strongly denied his government’s involvement in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the king suggested it could have been “rogue killers.”

The king firmly denied any knowledge of it,” said Mr. Trump, who then offered a suggestion by King Salman that it “could have been rogue killers, who knows?”

Mr. Trump said he did not want to get into what was in King Salman’s mind.

“All I can do is report what he told me,” he said.

Mr. Trump has dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to get to the bottom of the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who has been critical of the Saudi regime.

The president said Mr. Pompeo was directed to visit whatever countries were necessary to get to the bottom of it.

Mr. Khashoggi was last seen Oct. 2 entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish officials said that a Saudi hit squad killed Mr. Khashoggi and dismembered his body to smuggle it out of the country. A group of men in a video taken at the Istanbul airport were identified by Turkey as the hitmen.

Saudi Arabia said the men were tourists.

Mr. Trump promised unspecified punishment if Saudi Arabia is implicated in killing the journalist. Great Britain, France and Germany also vowed retaliation.

Saudi Arabia said it would hit back against any sanctions imposed against the oil-rich country, citing its “effective and vital role in the world economy.”

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