THE LEAD STORY – TRUMP WAITS FOR ANSWERS IN MISSING ACTIVIST MYSTERY: President Trump said he wants answers in the disappearance and presumed death of Saudi activist Jamal Khashoggi, but is resisting the idea of the FBI conducting its own investigation … Trump said he would receive a full briefing from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he returned the United States on Wednesday. Pompeo traveled to Riyadh and Ankara, where he had talks with Saudi and Turkish leaders about Khashoggi’s disappearance and their separate investigations. Turkish crime-scene investigators searched the home of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul on Wednesday.
“I want to find out what happened, where is the fault,” Mr. Trump said. Asked about a recording described by the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak that allegedly could reveal details of Khashoggi’s death, Trump said, “We’ve asked for it, if it exists.” At another point, he said, “I’m not sure yet that it exists.” The president has repeatedly urged caution and stressed the United States must know all the facts in the missing activist’s disappearance before taking potential action. Saudi and Turkish leaders have denied knowing what happened to Khashoggi. Several media outlets reported Monday that the Saudi government may reveal publicly that rogue intelligence operatives murdered Khashoggi by mistake inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul during an interrogation that went wrong earlier this month. That public statement has yet to happen.
The U.S. has several business interests with Saudi Arabia and sees the country as a key ally in the war on terror and in neutralizing Iran. Trump insisted he is not trying to provide “cover” for the Saudis in Khashoggi case.