Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to go before his parliament Tuesday and reveal what he said would be the “naked truth” about the death of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Ankara.
Since he went missing after entering the consulate on October 2, Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of sending a team to kill Khashoggi.
The Saudis at first said Khashoggi had left the consulate and that they did not know his whereabouts. Later, they said he died in a fistfight after an argument inside the consulate. Most recently, the Saudis said Khashoggi died in a chokehold to prevent him from leaving the consulate to call for help.
The various explanations have been met with skepticism from the international community and allegations Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the country’s de facto ruler — ordered Khashoggi be killed.
U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday that he is “not satisfied” with what he has heard, but that he expects to find out a lot more in the next few days.
“I have a great group people in Turkey right now and a great group of people in Saudi Arabia. We will know very soon,” Trump said.
Trump has said there would be consequences if Saudi Arabia was found to be responsible for Khashoggi’s death, but also made it clear he has no intention of doing anything that would affect lucrative arms deals.
“I don’t want to lose all of that investment that’s being made in our country,” he said Monday.
U.S. media reports said CIA Director Gina Haspel left the United States on Monday to go to Turkey to meet with officials there who are investigating Khashoggi’s death. The Trump administration did not publicly say anything about her trip.
In another development Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met the Saudi crown prince in Riyadh. The Saudi Foreign Ministry posted a photograph of the meeting on its Twitter account. Mnuchin canceled his plans to attend a three-day investment conference hosted by Saudi Arabia beginning on Tuesday, but said he would meet the crown prince to discuss counterterrorism efforts.
New surveillance video released Monday from Istanbul appears to show a Saudi agent wearing Khashoggi’s clothing and leaving Riyadh’s consulate on October 2 in an apparent attempt to cover up his killing by showing he had left the diplomatic outpost alive.
The video was taken by Turkish law enforcement and shown Monday on CNN.
The 59-year-old Khashoggi had been living in the United States in self-imposed exile while he wrote columns for The Washington Post that were critical of the Saudi crown prince and Riyadh’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen.
It is not known what happened to his remains, although Turkish officials say he was tortured, decapitated and then dismembered. One Saudi official told ABC News that Khashoggi’s body was given to a “local cooperator” in Istanbul for disposal, but Saudi officials have said they do not know what happened to his remains.
In Washington, White House adviser Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, told CNN the United States is still in a “fact-finding” phase in trying to determine exactly what happened to Khashoggi.
“We’re getting facts in from multiple places,” Kushner said. He said that Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will then decide how to respond to Saudi Arabia, a long-time American ally.