Trump: White House Pressed Saudis on Missing Journalist

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in Washington, D.C., October 9, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Trump said Wednesday that the White House spoke with Saudi officials and “demanded” any existing evidence that can corroborate their claim to have no information regarding the whereabouts of missing Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We are demanding everything,” Trump told reporters, likely referring to surveillance footage from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was last seen. “Frankly, the fact that it’s a reporter, you could say in many respects. . . . It’s a very serious situation for us and for this White House. We do not like seeing this.”

Trump added that Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, may visit the White House soon. Cengiz, who wrote a Post op-ed Tuesday urging Trump to pressure the Saudis for information, watched him enter the consulate on October 2. She says she waited outside the building for eleven hours but he never emerged.

Turkish officials claimed to the New York Times Tuesday that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a team of Saudi assassins at the direction of the Saudi royal court. “It is like Pulp Fiction,” one official said of Khashoggi’s alleged murder.

Khashoggi, a long-time Saudi government insider who had become increasingly critical of the country’s ruling royal family, regularly contributed columns to the Post. Anticipating the royal family would try to silence him, Khashoggi fled his home country in June 2017 and sought refuge in Turkey.

Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have categorically denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance and have pledged to carry out their own investigation. Surveillance footage from the day Khashoggi disappeared was reportedly removed from the consulate and workers were instructed to stay home.

Turkish president Reccip Tayyip Erdogan has been made aware of Turkish intelligence findings but has not yet issued a statement explicitly accusing the Saudis of murdering Khashoggi, though he has demanded the Saudis turn over any evidence to corroborate their denial.

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular

PC Culture

‘White Women’ Becomes a Disparaging Term

Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More