Following a call with Saudi King Salman ー who vehemently denied any involvement in Khashoggi's suspected abduction ー Trump suggested to reporters on Monday that the kingdom may not be culpable. The third individual said the USA government still doesn't know precisely what explanation the Saudis plan to give, but that the Saudis intend to admit "culpability".
If the Saudis do offer this sequence of events, they will need to account for why they have claimed, for the past two weeks, that Khashoggi walked out of the consulate.
Saudi Arabia has always been fertile territory for United States defense contractors, an oil-rich kingdom with an appetite for weapons. It said one of the sources told them that the intention was to abduct Khashoggi and it had not been authorized by the Saudi government.
"I don't think there is really any appetite to dive back in (to stocks), and the Saudi situation is just another ball for investors to have to juggle", said CMC Markets' senior analyst Michael Hewson.
Smith said Monday on "Shepard Smith Reporting" that Trump's theory appears to "give cover to the Saudis".
Turkish officials have said that two private planes carrying 15 Saudi operatives flew to Turkey and the men were seen arriving at the consulate shortly before Khashoggi entered the compound.
"I think one of the strong things that we can do is not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but most importantly, get out of this awful, bad war in Yemen led by the Saudis", Sen. Turkish officials say they believe the columnist and former news executive was murdered there, dismembered and later disposed of, according to a Reuters report. "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".
Khashoggi, who recently has been living in Virginia and writing columns for The Washington Post, hasn't been seen since October 2, when he entered the Saudi Consulate to handle paperwork for his upcoming marriage.
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened "severe punishment" if it is found that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.
Trump called Pompeo on Sunday night and asked him to have face-to-face meetings with the Saudi leaders, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
In August, Freeland sent a tweet condemning Saudi Arabia's decision to jail prominent women's rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah.
The press agency also released a statement of support from the government of Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is supporting in a protracted war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Middle East's most impoverished country.