CLOSINGS: View Closings

President Trump dispatches Secretary Pompeo to Saudi Arabia

President Trump dispatched Secretary of State Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to discuss with the leadership what exactly happened to a Washington Post Journalist inside the Saudi consulate. CNN's Alex Marquardt reports.

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 12:05 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 12:05 PM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with top Saudi leaders Tuesday as sources told CNN that the Kingdom is preparing to acknowledge that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi died at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Pompeo had a short discussion with King Salman before a longer meeting with the King's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo "thanked the King for his commitment to supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation" of the Khashoggi case.

Nauert described the meetings as "direct and candid."

CNN's sources said Saudi Arabia plans to contend that the Washington Post columnist died when an interrogation went awry, but there was no public mention on Tuesday of any new Saudi explanation of Khashoggi's disappearance.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkish officials, who searched the consulate for nine hours on Monday, are looking into "toxic" and "painted over material" as part of their investigation. "My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over," Erdogan told reporters.

Saudi Arabia has been under intense international pressure to explain Khashoggi's apparent death after he visited the consulate on October 2 to obtain papers that would have allowed him to marry his Turkish fiancée.

The affair has created a diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia and the West and led to international firms pulling out of a high-profile summit in Riyadh. The CEOs of three top banks -- Standard Chartered, HSBC and Credit Suisse -- announced their withdrawal from the conference Tuesday.

Flurry of meetings

Trump dispatched Pompeo to the region shortly after a phone call on Monday with King Salman. He was met at the airport in Riyadh on Tuesday by the Saudi foreign minister, and undertook a flurry of engagements with top officials throughout the day.

Pompeo's meeting with the King was relatively brief -- based on the arrival and departure times of his motorcade, CNN estimates the encounter can have lasted no more than 15 minutes. Pompeo met with the Crown Prince for about 35 to 40 minutes, and was due to meet him again for dinner later.

The State Department provided little information about the substance of the discussions, beyond saying that Pompeo expressed concern about Khashoggi's case and the need for a full investigation.

Turkish authorities have said privately that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 as his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, waited outside. Saudi Arabia has previously insisted he left the building alive, but Cengiz says she never saw him again.

She tweeted a Quranic verse on Tuesday promising "eternal hellfire" for the killers of "deliberate believers."

Sources told CNN on Monday that the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge that the death of Khashoggi, a former Saudi royal insider who became a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was the result of an interrogation that went wrong. The sources said the interrogation was intended to lead to his enforced return to Saudi Arabia.

One source said the report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible. A source acknowledged that the report was still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.

If Riyadh goes public with its new explanation, it would require a reversal of its previous claim that Khashoggi had left the consulate alive.

After Trump's call with King Salman on Monday, he floated the possibility that Khashoggi died during an unauthorized operation. "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers -- who knows," Trump told reporters.

Trump's comments may be a sign that Washington is preparing to accept Saudi Arabia's efforts to distance its leaders from whatever fate befell Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate.

Turkish investigation

At a press conference in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia had not yet acknowledged its role in Khashoggi's disappearance. "We didn't receive any confession or information from Saudi Arabia," he said. Turkey expected to get more details about the Saudi position when Pompeo arrives in Turkey on Wednesday, he said.

Turkish investigators were expected to carry out a search of the Saudi Consul General's residence in Istanbul later on Tuesday. CCTV footage, which has served as a focal point in the investigations, showed vehicles moving from the consulate building to the nearby Consul General's residence on October 2.

The semiofficial Anadolu news agency said Saudi's Istanbul Consul General, Mohammed Otaibi, had left the country.

On Monday, Turkish officials conducted an investigation of the main consulate building that lasted well into the evening. Earlier in the day, CNN reporters saw a cleaning crew enter the building.

Khashoggi's family issued a statement in which they acknowledged for the first time that the journalist was no longer alive. "The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial international commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death," they said in the statement.

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Riyadh to lift immunity -- bestowed by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations -- on its diplomatic premises, given the seriousness of the allegations leveled against Saudi Arabia. "Under international law, both a forced disappearance and an extra-judicial killing are very serious crimes, and immunity should not be used to impede investigations into what happened and who is responsible," Bachelet said in a statement released Tuesday.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1560117

Reported Deaths: 20796
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2118112563
Lake1021301523
Allen964791027
Hamilton75541551
St. Joseph66476761
Elkhart51045634
Vanderburgh50511531
Tippecanoe45721338
Johnson39600527
Hendricks37933463
Porter35132476
Madison30330547
Clark27296331
Vigo26401347
Monroe24100249
LaPorte23921313
Howard23237381
Delaware22453370
Hancock19314220
Bartholomew18980216
Kosciusko18400204
Warrick17733216
Wayne16982303
Floyd16686257
Grant15966300
Morgan15091232
Boone13924138
Dearborn12235113
Shelby12225152
Noble12170142
Henry12027202
Dubois11696152
Marshall11625171
Jackson11111104
Cass10578143
Lawrence10529221
Huntington10523140
DeKalb10482132
Gibson10114127
Montgomery9671144
Harrison9471117
Knox9415125
Whitley902571
Steuben8934105
Putnam8542100
Miami8533135
Clinton849397
Jasper8462116
Jefferson8319127
Wabash8027140
Ripley7504117
Scott685787
Adams6829103
Daviess6825130
White638184
Greene6317112
Clay628975
Decatur6261121
Jennings619781
Wells6090121
Fayette6054122
Posey580148
LaGrange549097
Randolph5364129
Washington528071
Owen5211100
Fountain493681
Spencer467456
Sullivan462066
Fulton450993
Orange449784
Starke448887
Rush433941
Jay432564
Perry409155
Carroll394749
Franklin394650
Vermillion370762
Pike334246
Parke331239
Tipton330475
Blackford282255
Pulaski281775
Brown239856
Newton239761
Benton228921
Crawford224932
Switzerland207914
Martin196722
Warren183922
Union178119
Ohio129216
Unassigned0763

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2515949

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2719422100
Cuyahoga2606673087
Hamilton1758091756
Montgomery1177451651
Summit1089011418
Lucas935321193
Butler83907963
Stark771001431
Lorain64214809
Warren53428489
Mahoning51224930
Lake47591611
Clermont46928452
Delaware41107220
Trumbull39746790
Licking38790416
Medina38646427
Fairfield35828349
Greene34313435
Portage32429366
Clark32361453
Richland29653444
Wood29379301
Allen25875403
Miami24243408
Muskingum23564255
Columbiana23046409
Wayne22093365
Tuscarawas19637428
Marion18616235
Erie18608224
Ashtabula18569362
Scioto18159214
Ross17594260
Pickaway16419181
Hancock16115232
Geauga15511229
Lawrence15094186
Belmont14236248
Union1419584
Huron13908184
Jefferson13656261
Sandusky13268200
Athens12877107
Knox12160201
Seneca12055204
Darke11440202
Ashland11248184
Washington11152172
Auglaize10873147
Crawford10432178
Shelby10402160
Brown10094145
Highland9746151
Fulton9726154
Guernsey9683122
Defiance9567137
Logan9470147
Clinton9428132
Mercer9099112
Madison9032111
Preble8524170
Williams8305138
Putnam8069136
Champaign8040113
Ottawa7971123
Jackson7848121
Perry7514102
Coshocton7411136
Morrow729184
Fayette715992
Pike666689
Hardin6564133
Gallia638891
Adams6227127
Van Wert6065121
Henry602596
Hocking5918105
Wyandot503594
Carroll5009101
Holmes4880167
Paulding426465
Meigs400974
Monroe316468
Harrison299162
Noble296952
Morgan292748
Vinton258646
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
-1° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: -17°
Angola
Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: -8°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: -1°
Feels Like: -11°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
-1° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 1°
Feels Like: -17°
Van Wert
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 3°
Feels Like: -9°
Bitterly cold wind chills are expected across the region Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events