Trump says Khashoggi murder 'worst cover-up in history'

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, said the White House is still gathering facts on journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing and wants to preserve the US alliance with Saudi Arabia, downplaying the role of the kingdom's government in the death.

Saudi Arabia admitted on Friday via state television that the journalist had been killed in a fight inside the consulate.

Visa records are confidential and Pompeo was not more specific about who the revocations would affect, but the State Department later said 21 "Saudi suspects" would have visas revoked or would be declared ineligible to enter the U.S.

Reports emerged about a Saudi hit squad killing and dismembering the journalist - allegedly on the orders of the crown prince.

"Whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble".

Over the past year, there have been several reports of clandestine meetings between Saudi and Israeli officials, including between the top statesmen: Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia's de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mr Khashoggi went missing when visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three weeks ago.

Trump told reporters last Saturday: "So far, we've heard about it, but nobody has seen it", adding that, to his knowledge, that included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The state-run Anadolu news agency initially said Saudi officials had refused to allow police to search the well in the garden of the consul's residence.

"In terms of what we ultimately do, I'm going to leave it very much - in conjunction with me - I'm going to leave it up to Congress", he said.

The incident has severely dented the global reputation of the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump on Tuesday called the Saudi explanation the "worst cover-up ever" and his administration moved to punish the kingdom over the killing. Just 5 percent said he has been too tough.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also failed to mention the audio recording during a highly-anticipated speech about Khashoggi's killing on Tuesday.

In Turkey, Erdogan demanded that Saudi Arabia provide answers about where Khashoggi's body was and who ordered the operation.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman vowed on Wednesday that the killers would be brought to justice, in his first public comments on the matter.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be inching closer to cancelling Canada's $15-billion deal to sell light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. "There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover it up".

  • Leroy Wright