Trump suggests ‘rogue killers’ in writer case

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama Bahrain. Turkish claims that Khashoggi who wrote for The Washington Post was slain inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey has put

Turkish officials say that they believe Saudi agents killed and dismembered Khashoggi after he entered the consulate and that Turkey has audio and video recordings of it.

But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Mnuchin should not attend the economic summit because the USA should not continue "business as usual" with Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance.

Trump's comments came after a 20-minute phone call with Salman in which Trump said the king adamantly denied any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi.

Trump told journalists. "We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but (King Salman's) was a flat denial".

The kingdom has called the allegations "baseless" but has offered no evidence the writer left the consulate. The dissident Saudi journalist's Turkish colleagues and several Turkish officials have voiced concerns that he was murdered in the consulate.

The president has sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to investigate the disappearance. Footage emerged Tuesday showing Khashoggi entering the building the week before.

Over the weekend, Trump warned of "severe punishment" if it turns out that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

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Saudi flags, photos of the king and crown prince looking stern, and pro-Saudi hashtags were making the rounds on social media Monday with a common theme: Saudi Arabia and its ruling family are a "red line".

The Turkish team included a prosecutor, a deputy prosecutor, anti-terror police and forensic experts, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Last year, Saudi Arabia launched the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference, an event attended by businesses and government leaders around the world to discuss trends in the global economy.

On Sunday, Riyadh angrily rejected political and economic "threats" over the case of the missing journalist and said it would respond to any punitive action "with a bigger one".

A group of cleaners was seen entering earlier.

"Something this big would definitely spook investors, and Saudi just opened up for foreign direct investment, so that was big", said Issam Kassabieh, a financial analyst at Dubai-based firm Menacorp Finance. The Sabah daily newspaper said investigators had wanted to search the building with luminol, a chemical which shows up any traces of blood.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, has whipped up worldwide concern, with new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman increasingly the focus of sharp criticism.

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