'Worst cover-up ever': Trump slams Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi killing

Saudi agent seen on video leaving consulate wearing missing journalist's clothing

Asked if he believed the Saudis were telling the truth about the circumstances surrounding the 59-year-old's death three weeks ago, Trump told reporters at the White House: "We will know very soon". "Somebody really messed up", he said.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate. First, Saudi officials said Khashoggi left the embassy unharmed, but after 17 days, following grisly news reports of Khashoggi's death, Saudi officials said last Friday that he was killed during an altercation inside the consulate.

In his remarks to reporters at the White House, Trump derided the initial Saudi denial of any wrongdoing and efforts to hide what happened to Khashoggi.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday the Trump administration is revoking visas of Saudi officials who have been implicated in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "On whose orders? We are seeking answers".

Erdogan refused to accept Saudi Arabia's explanation that the Saudi journalist was accidentally killed.

He also mentioned that the usage of the Vienna Convention, which offers diplomatic immunity, was "a matter of debate" in Khashoggi's case. "And they had the worst cover-up ever", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Tuesday.

"But we'll also do so in the context of our vital national interests and the important and more than half-century long relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia", Pence said. "Neither the president nor I am happy with this situation".

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected their account of what happened and said that Khashoggi was murdered in a pre-planned operation, directed by top Saudi officials.

Mr Trump went on to say he would be briefed about the suspected murder on Wednesday afternoon by U.S. officials after the head of the CIA's visit to Istanbul.

Turkish state media said investigators found three suitcases, a laptop computer and clothing inside a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate.

Trump said of the attack on the journalist that "whoever thought of that idea, I think, is in big trouble". "We expect the same sensitivity from all parties, primarily the Saudi Arabian leadership", he said.

He said Haskell will return to the U.S. to brief the president, himself and members of the USA administration on what the Turkish investigation has turned up. Another team went to the consulate and removed the hard disk from its security camera, he said.

That comment contradicts Saudi accounts that Khashoggi, a US permanent resident and Washington Post columnist who had written critically of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, died accidentally in a "fistfight" in the consulate.

Speaking to his political party members in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Erdogan said, according to the Post, that "covering up this kind of savagery will hurt the conscience of all humanity".

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