Audio recording emerges of 'murder' of Saudi journalist

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

However, Saudi Arabia says reports on Mr Khashoggi's death are "completely false and baseless" and that it is "open to co-operation" to find out what happened.

"Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he's dead", Trump said to The Times.

Turkish officials have said they believe the journalist, a critic of Saudi rulers, was murdered inside the building and his body chopped up and removed.

Trump has largely stood by the Saudis over the past week or so as they've repeatedly denied involvement.

Khashoggi arrived at the consulate several hours later at 1:14 p.m., then disappeared while his fiancee waited for him outside.

'We'll be making a statement, a very strong statement'.

The top U.S. diplomat said he told Trump that "we ought to give them a few more days to complete" their investigation in order to get a full understanding of what happened "at which point we can make decisions about how - or if - the United States should respond to the incident surrounding Mr. Khashoggi".

Pompeo declined to get into specifics as well, telling reporters during his visit: "I don't want to talk about any of the facts; they didn't want to, either, in that they want to have the opportunity to complete this investigation in a thorough way".

The official also said the Pompeo had warned Prince Mohammed that given the allegations it would be "very hard for you to be a credible king" without a credible investigation into the case.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has neither heard audio nor read a transcript related to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a press release. "We will probably know that by the end of the week", Trump said.

Of the alleged killing, Saudi dissident Ali al-Ahmed told Express.co.uk: "This really is the true nature of the Saudi monarchy - it has has been able to hide and cover up this atrocity with the help of its western backers". Turkish police are searching a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for the remains of Khashoggi more than two weeks after he vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, two senior Turkish officials told Reuters.

On Thursday, after his meeting at the White House, Pompeo said that he told the president that the Saudis should have "a few more days" to finish their investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance.

However, Trump's businesses have made millions from the Saudi government and the crown prince have his New York City hotel a huge boost, Business Insider's Bob Bryan reported on Tuesday.

"Given the reports surrounding Mr Khashoggi's disappearance, America's relationship with Saudi Arabia ought to be carefully scrutinised, as should any possible sale of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia", he said.

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