How could Donald Trump punish China while shielding the Saudis?

Donald Trump

The Washington Post, whose columnist Jamal Khashoggi was reported to have been killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has accused the administration of US President Donald Trump of performing a "diplomatic cleanup operation" for Riyadh.

Turkey on Friday denied giving "any kind of audio tape" from the investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or any American official.

Trump previously said Saudi Arabia would face "severe punishment" if evidence points to Saudi leaders having been involved in harming Khashoggi, but his administration has softened its stance in recent days, touting the Saudi royals' repeated denials and even casting doubt on reported Turkish audio and video evidence.

Worldwide concern over the case has led to many business and political figures pulling out of an upcoming conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Turkish officials have said they believe he was killed there although this has not been confirmed by Saudi Arabia.

This comes in the midst of the worldwide outcry over the disappearance and probable murder of Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi regime, Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

"He became really the senior forensic doctor in Saudi Arabia, he was head of the Saudi forensic medicine commission".

Earlier, they spent almost nine hours in the Saudi consul's residence along with Saudi investigators.

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While the United States president has been focusing on bullying China over trade manipulation, the USA has also been selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consult in Istanbul more than two weeks ago and is feared dead.

Many samples, including soil and water, were taken from the consulate and the residence, the official said.

There is a perception here among critics of the Trump administration that U.S. officials are working with the Saudis to give them time to come up with a "cover story".

Mr. Trump said he would wait for the results of three different investigations before drawing conclusions.

Turkish police on Wednesday began searching the residence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul for their investigation, with forensics experts in white overalls entering the building, an AFP correspondent said.

"I still want to wish and hope that he is alive and so on", Kislakci said.

Canada, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among other nations, consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group.

Mr Khashoggi went to the consulate seeking documents for his planned marriage to his Turkish fiancee, who was waiting outside and was never seen again.

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