Sen. Graham: Saudi crown prince 'has got to go' after Khashoggi's disappearance

Police searching the Saudi Consulate found evidence that Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed there, a high-level Turkish official said Tuesday, and authorities appeared ready to also search the nearby residence of the consul general after the diplomat left the country.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Ankara, Turkey, on October 17, 2018.

Pompeo landed on Tuesday morning in Riyadh and was to immediately meet the king over the crisis surrounding Khashoggi, who disappeared two weeks ago on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

A search was to be conducted on Tuesday of the Saudi consul's residence in Turkey, some 200 metres away from the consulate, where Khashoggi was last seen alive.

Trump said he hoped the Saudis' own investigation of Khashoggi's disappearance would be concluded in "less than a week".

Turkish authorities have identified five suspects in its investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, four of whom have ties to the Saudi Arabian government, USA media reported.

The Saudi journalist, critical of Riyadh, has vanished since he stepped inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Turkish officials say they have evidence that indicates Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the consular building.

"Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened "to our Saudi Arabian citizen", Trump tweeted.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday on Fox News that he wants to see Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman forced out of after the mysterious disappearance of activist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump also wrote that the crown prince "told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter".

"The investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over", Erdogan told reporters. "They indicated they understood that getting that done in a timely, rapid fashion so they could begin to answer important questions".

But the global revulsion at the reported assassination and mutilation of a single newspaper columnist - Khashoggi, who wrote for The Washington Post - has already sullied that image far more than previous missteps by Mohammed bin Salman, from miring his country in a catastrophic war in Yemen to kidnapping the prime minister of Lebanon.

"It depends whether or not the king or the crown prince knew about it, in my opinion, number one, what happened, but whether or not they knew about it".

Trump offered his most robust defence of the Saudi regime during a Tuesday interview with The Associated Press, in which he linked the allegations of the Khashoggi case with the recent Brett Kavanaugh affair. "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't like that".

According to that reported claim, the crown prince had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, but the intelligence official was tragically incompetent as he eagerly sought to prove himself. At issue will be to what extent the West believes responsibility lies with MbS for Khashoggi.

The G7 foreign ministers called for those responsible to be held accountable.

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