Jamal Khashoggi: Mike Pompeo to visit Saudi Arabia

Trump says Saudi king denies knowledge of missing journalist

The Saudi government is preparing to say that the death of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the result of an interrogation by Saudi operatives that went wrong, two sources close to the Saudi kingdom tell CBS News.

According to that narrative, the crown prince had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, but the intelligence official was tragically incompetent as he eagerly sought to prove himself.

One of the sources acknowledged that the report is still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.

CNN's report said the nation had not given its clearance for the attack on Khashoggi, and said "Those involved will be held responsible".

U.S. President Donald Trump, who had earlier speculated that "rogue killers" may be responsible from Khashoggi's disappearance, dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case that has strained the Americans' relationship with the Saudis. Specifically, the Turks claim to have audio and video evidence demonstrating that Saudi operatives tortured and killed the dissident journalist - and then, with the aid of a bone saw and a doctor of forensic medicine, chopped his body into pieces.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's top oil exporters.

The press agency also released a statement of support from the government of Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is supporting in a protracted war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Middle East's most impoverished country.

Last week, Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to investigate Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

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Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which hosts the conference, has tentatively committed $20 billion to an infrastructure investment planned with Blackstone Group. Turkish officials fear he was killed and dismembered.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, the crown prince, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi.

The Saudi consulate referred Reuters to authorities in Riyadh, who did not respond to questions about the 15 Saudis.

However, given the close political and economic links between the United States and Saudi Arabia it remains unclear what action he could take.

Speaking at a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida on Monday, Mr Trump admitted he had heard the reports of an imminent Saudi admission, but said "it's just a rumour of a report coming out". Chief Executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co. Both companies declined to comment.

Google decided not to take part in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh amid the scandal around missing Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi, company's spokesperson said.

Two more Washington lobbying firms also dropped their representation of Saudi Arabia on Monday. Although few U.S.jobs are thus at stake, the military sales relationship does provide the United States with leverage, if it chose to use it, given Saudi Arabia's longstanding use of USA equipment and the difficulties in switching to incompatible ordnance from a different supplier.

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