Saudi King Salman steps in as Riyadh defends itself in Khashoggi case

Turkish authorities have told USA officials that they have recordings from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that prove Khashoggi was killed inside, officials told NBC News.

"The objective of (Sunday's) message broadcasted by the Saudi national media is twofold: one goal is to satisfy the domestic public opinion that Saudi Arabia and its royal family will not be humiliated and the other goal is to send a message to the US", Mitreski, researcher at the University of Sydney, told AFP. This created a major diplomatic crisis for the kingdom, with mounting evidence that the Saudis were involved fueling a growing outcry from foreign governments, USA lawmakers and the Trump administration.

Saudi Arabia, in turn, threatened to retaliate.

Mr Aldakhil's extraordinary message comes after Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey to get marriage documents.

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Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that he "just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen.' He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer".

Us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is flying to Saudi Arabia immediately.

But Trump has said he is wary of halting USA military sales to Saudi Arabia over the incident. There have been doubts, however, about how far the United States president is willing to go, given his administration's deep ties to Riyadh.

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"If we have already lost Jamal, then condemnation is not enough".

He also said Mnuchin should skip the Saudi conference. The US provides weaponry, intelligence and logistical support for the bombing campaign. Certain areas of the consulate were to remain off-limits, although officials would be able to inspect surveillance cameras within the post, Turkish media reported. "Certainly our involvement in Yemen with Saudi Arabia will be affected", said Flake, Republican-Arizona. The writer had been living in self-exile in Virginia for the past year.

"I don't think he should go", Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's "State of the Union".

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether through economic sanctions, political pressure or repeating false accusations", a statement by the Saudi government said.

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