Inside Saudi Consulate, Suspicious New Paint

Turkish investigators looking into it as Pompeo meets with king
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2018 8:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump has mused it might have been "rogue killers" who murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while other sources are buzzing that Saudi Arabia plans to admit Khashoggi was accidentally killed during an interrogation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got directly on the case Tuesday in Riyadh, where he was sent by Trump to meet with King Salman and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Reuters and CBS News report. After that sit-down, Pompeo was expected to dine later Monday with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS), who's been linked to an order to abduct Khashoggi, an ex-senior US official tells the New York Times. Pompeo's meeting with the king was "hastily arranged" and "short"; CNN estimates it lasted just 15 minutes, based on motorcade arrival and departure times.

State Department rep Heather Nauert didn't reveal much about the meeting, other than Pompeo thanking the king "for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation." Meanwhile, witnesses tell Reuters that Turkish crime scene officials scoured the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was last seen, for more than nine hours Monday, and a Turkish government rep says police are expected to go back Tuesday. CNN reporters noted that before investigators descended upon the consulate, they'd seen a cleaning crew head inside. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered a bit of eyebrow-raising insight into what authorities are focusing on. "The investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over." (Did Khashoggi's Apple Watch record his own death? Some aren't so sure.)

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