SEVERE WX : Flood Watch - Flash Flood Watch - Flood Advisory View Alerts

Turkish President addresses Khashoggi murder

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan describes the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 7:15 AM
Updated: Oct 24, 2018 7:29 AM

President Donald Trump offered his most stinging indictment yet of a Saudi effort to silence a dissident journalist, calling the series of events that led to Jamal Khashoggi's death "the worst cover up ever."

"The cover up was one of the worst in the history of cover ups," Trump said from the Oval Office. "It's very simple."

Later Tuesday, Trump went further, calling the episode a "total fiasco."

The rebuke of Saudi Arabia's response to the death reflected Trump's growing frustration at the diplomatic crisis, which has thrust his foreign policy objectives into a harsh spotlight. It came amid an evolving administration response, which including dispatching the CIA director to Turkey to gather more details.

The President has become increasingly irritated by the fallout from Khashoggi's death, multiple sources who have heard him voice his frustration told CNN.

Visas to be revoked

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US will be revoking the visas of those who murdered the Washington Post journalist, and said that the administration has "identified at least some of the individuals responsible."

The top US diplomat said that the State Department is also working with the Treasury Department to apply human rights-related sanctions that includes the freezing of assets and a travel ban.

After Pompeo spoke, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert announced that "21 Saudi suspects in the death of Jamal Khashoggi will have their visas revoked or be ineligible for a visa to enter the United States." Another State Department spokesperson told CNN that State wouldn't be identifying the individuals because "visa confidentiality, protected by U.S. law, prohibits us from discussing individual visa cases."

Saudi Arabian officials have said the October 2 killing, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was part of a rogue operation gone wrong. Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday that Khashoggi's death was a "tremendous mistake" and added that his government would punish those responsible for his "murder."

Trump, however, seemed less willing to accept that official explanation. He cast the situation as a lousy attempt at concealing a crime.

"Somebody really messed up," he said. "Because whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble."

He said he was expecting to hear more from US intelligence officials during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

"However they talk about it, nothing they've done has gone well. It certainly has not been spoken of properly," he said, flanked by US military brass. "The process was no good. the execution was no good. And the cover up, if you want to call it that, was certainly no good."

Khashoggi son meets King, Crown Prince

Salah Khashoggi, the son of the slain journalist, and another relative, Sahl bin Ahmad Khashoggi, were summoned to the Al Yamama Palace in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Tuesday, where they met the King and the Crown Prince.

The King and Crown Prince "expressed their sincere condolences to the family of Jamal Khashoggi -- may God have mercy on him," SPA reported.

Salah, who lives in the Saudi city of Jeddah, has been unable to travel outside Saudi Arabia for several months, as his passport had been invalidated, according to sources close to the family.

Other members of Khashoggi's family, including his ex-wife and daughter, are currently in Dubai, add the sources.

Trump: Erdogan 'rough' on Saudi Arabia

He described an earlier phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as damning for Saudi Arabia.

"He was pretty rough on Saudi Arabia, I would say," Trump said.

In recent days, the President has complained about the negative coverage blanketing cable television and told confidantes he feels betrayed by the Saudis, who have presented shifting accounts about what happened to the journalist after he entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey three weeks ago to obtain a marriage document and never left.

The President, who spoke Sunday with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is privately blaming them for making him look bad. At times he has talked about how much he has done so much for the Saudis, complaining that they put him in this position.

Trump doesn't like that he and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner have been depicted as overly cozy with the Saudis.

Saudi officials claim Khashoggi died in a fistfight involving more than a dozen Saudi officials at the country's consulate in Istanbul. Advisers have told Trump that that explanation for Khashoggi's death does not add up.

While departing the White House for a rally Monday in Texas, Trump appeared skeptical of the Saudi explanation and suggested he wouldn't accept the one month the Saudis have requested to complete their investigation into Khashoggi's death.

"I am not satisfied with what I've heard," Trump said. "That's a long time. There's no reason for that much. Be faster."

Aides: Murder not an election issue

But White House aides have told the President that Khashoggi's death isn't an issue that resonates with their base and are confident it won't affect Republicans' chances in the upcoming midterm elections.

Trump is being advised to focus his messaging on the caravan, which officials think is a winning issue for Republicans two weeks before voters go to the polls. Trump hasn't mentioned the Saudi situation at any of his campaign rallies in the past several weeks.

As Trump assailed the shifting Saudi story about Khashoggi's fate, Saudi officials offered more details of the events surrounding the Virginia resident's death, but provided no corroborating evidence.

Elaborate plan described

They described a plan to convince Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia. If he refused, an official told CNN, the next step was to drug the journalist with a tranquilizer and take him to a safe house in Istanbul for 48 hours. If Khashoggi still refused to return to Saudi Arabia at that point, the team was to leave and a "local collaborator" was to let him go, the source claimed.

The Saudi official also claimed that the forensic expert who was part of the team was there to wipe all evidence of Khashoggi's presence at the consulate and the safe house, so that if Khashoggi claimed later that he had been kidnapped, there would be no proof. The New York Times has reported that the forensic expert was equipped with a bone saw.

The official said that of the 15 Saudis who took part in the operation, a total of nine were at the consulate, with "three or four to question him and the rest to handle logistics." There was no explanation why three to four people would be needed for questioning, or what logistics the others would attend to.

The rest of the Saudi squad, including generals and their security detail, waited at the safe house, according to the source.

Beaten, tortured, dismembered

Turkish officials have said that Khashoggi was set upon immediately after entering the consulate, and then beaten, tortured and dismembered.

The Saudi official told CNN that Khashoggi became agitated after being told he would be drugged and taken to a safe house, at which point he tried to resist, was put in a chokehold and killed.

CIA Director Gina Haspel is on the ground in Turkey Tuesday reviewing evidence in Khashoggi's murder investigation. Vice President Mike Pence, who pledged Tuesday during an interview with The Washington Post that his death "will not go without an American response," said she will brief him and Trump upon her return.

Both Trump and Pompeo said on Tuesday the US would continue to probe for answers.

"This is certainly not the last step, we will continue to do our own efforts, our own fact finding," Pompeo said, while adding that the US will also take into account information from Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

"We want to make sure everyone understands that the United States believes that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi wasn't anything other than a horrific act," Pompeo said.

Huntsville
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 64°
Florence
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Fayetteville
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 64°
Scottsboro
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 63°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 133433

Reported Deaths: 2349
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19306349
Mobile13233291
Montgomery8748177
Madison770978
Tuscaloosa7418116
Lee579261
Shelby578750
Baldwin514149
Marshall389244
Etowah340247
Calhoun340140
Morgan323926
Houston276423
Elmore259647
DeKalb237519
St. Clair226337
Walker225383
Talladega210628
Limestone203319
Cullman186818
Dallas175926
Franklin175229
Russell17322
Autauga171525
Lauderdale167333
Colbert162926
Blount158015
Escambia157725
Jackson154011
Chilton152431
Dale134644
Covington133427
Coffee12988
Pike11799
Chambers114442
Tallapoosa113885
Clarke107017
Marion95429
Butler91139
Barbour8517
Winston71812
Marengo70519
Lowndes65227
Pickens64514
Bibb63810
Randolph62713
Hale61928
Lawrence60522
Bullock59714
Geneva5864
Cherokee58315
Monroe5808
Clay5547
Washington55113
Perry5396
Conecuh53011
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw52732
Henry4835
Macon47920
Fayette4358
Sumter43219
Lamar3572
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3356
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 186798

Reported Deaths: 2277
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30397449
Davidson26194297
Hamilton926392
Knox911575
Rutherford911388
Williamson513936
Sumner475093
Wilson341243
Putnam317038
Montgomery301543
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29046
Bradley288317
Madison278060
Sevier255315
Blount246123
Maury228923
Washington223234
Robertson218835
Sullivan209332
Hamblen187325
Tipton176617
Trousdale16517
Gibson158620
Hardeman154625
Wayne14896
Bedford131717
Dyer131413
Dickson123014
Cumberland116918
Fayette116718
Coffee115612
Anderson115311
Henderson115121
Weakley114519
Carter114128
Loudon11316
Greene111839
Obion11129
McMinn109424
Jefferson108514
Macon103320
Warren10197
Monroe101017
Lawrence100311
Hardin99115
Lauderdale94915
Franklin9458
Haywood93316
Lake9192
Roane8643
Carroll84918
Bledsoe8484
McNairy82418
White8069
Cheatham80510
Rhea79111
Hawkins78016
Cocke7379
Marshall7335
Overton7085
Smith69710
Johnson6622
Henry6129
Chester60510
Lincoln5961
Giles57617
Hickman5535
DeKalb55013
Crockett52919
Marion5167
Decatur4956
Fentress4623
Claiborne4384
Campbell4243
Polk38010
Grainger3603
Union3451
Benton3349
Jackson3145
Morgan3103
Cannon2810
Unicoi2811
Grundy2635
Humphreys2433
Sequatchie2262
Meigs2213
Clay2155
Scott2082
Houston1981
Stewart1822
Lewis1791
Moore1611
Van Buren1590
Perry1490
Hancock1073
Pickett1072

Community Events