US President Donald Trump on Monday dispatched US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman over the unexplained disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and raised the possibility that "rogue killers" could have been responsible.
On that same day 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the diplomatic building while Khashoggi was also inside, Turkish police sources said.
Yet Meyer says Saudi Arabia's threats are a "bluff" that amount to more of a tactic to save face in front of a domestic audience. The president has said he doesn't want the Khashoggi matter to scuttle an arms deal with the Saudis.
Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic senator from CT who became an independent, said the disappearance and suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are "troubling", but until facts are established, the United States shouldn't destroy its relationship with Saudi Arabia.
In a sign of possible tactical tensions within the kingdom, Saudi officials threatened reprisals against any country that imposes sanctions on Riyadh.
"It would lead to Saudi Arabia's failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels".
The admission would mark a departure from the kingdom's repeated insistence that it had no knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi, who was picking up paperwork needed to marry his fiancée.
The kingdom's warning was not only a response to Trump, but also targeted at USA decision-makers amid rising calls for Congress to step in and put key arms sales on hold, he said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is still scheduled to attend the October 23 Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News. Ford chairman Bill Ford and Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi are also among those who will not be attending the conference.
"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters after speaking with King Salman.
The person said Prince Mohammed had approved an interrogation or rendition of Mr. Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi, a Saudi-born writer who contributed to the Washington Post, was highly critical of the crown prince's government and has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for a year because of fears he would be arrested in a crackdown on dissidents.
Media reports say Khashoggi may have recorded his own death on his Apple Watch. UAE businessman Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor urged a boycott of Virgin, which has suspended discussions with PIF over a planned $1 billion investment.