Trump says "rogue killers" may be behind Khashoggi disappearance

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U.S. President Donald Trump suggested Monday Saudi Arabia may not be behind the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The search represents new co-operation between Turkey, which says it fears Khashoggi was killed and dismembered there, and Saudi Arabia, which maintains the allegations it faces are "baseless" despite being unable to explain what happened to Khashoggi. He didn't really know, maybe, I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe it could have been rogue killers, who knows?

Actor Gerard Butler said on Monday he canceled an upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia to promote a new film because it felt like an "incredibly insensitive" time to visit amid activist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which hosts the conference, has tentatively committed $20 billion to an infrastructure investment planned with Blackstone Group.

In Istanbul, meanwhile, investigators entered the consulate for their own investigation.

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the journalist's disappearance and in a statement Sunday warned that "if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action".

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Martin Beck, a Professor at the Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, told DW that Saudi Arabia could strike back at possible United States sanctions by cutting down on its oil production.

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?... He said any response to Khashoggi's killing "needs to be strong, not symbolic", including the possibility of cutting off US weapons sales to Riyadh, or it would undermine the USA moral standing in the world. Certain areas of the consulate were to remain off-limits, although officials would be able to inspect surveillance cameras within the post, Turkish media reported.

In the past days, a slew of business leaders announced they would not attend the second Future Investment Initiative.

The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jamie Dimon, had been a featured speaker at the conference in Riyadh.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation. Benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $80 a barrel, and Trump has criticized OPEC and Saudi Arabia over rising prices. Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, an influential United Arab Emirates tycoon, called for an Arab boycott of all USA firms who have withdrawn from the conference.

The comments marked a break from the Trump administration's strenuous refusal to speculate over what happened to Khashoggi and came as the USA president is under growing pressure to take action on the case of the Saudi writer, who was a contributor to The Washington Post and wrote columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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