Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to back investigation into missing journalist

Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to back investigation into missing journalist
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting MORE on Monday called on Saudi Arabia to back a "thorough investigation" into the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation," Pompeo said in a statement.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and opinion writer for the Washington Post, was known for his critical views on Riyadh. He had recently left his country, citing concerns over Saudi Arabia's crackdown on free speech. 

The journalist was reported missing last week after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey, where he intended to obtain a document necessary to finalize his divorce from his wife. He reportedly never left, and Turkish sources later told Reuters that he had been killed inside the consulate. 

The reports of his death, while still unconfirmed, have sparked outrage worldwide. President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE on Monday said he was "concerned" about Khashoggi's disappearance, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was monitoring the case closely.

Saudi Arabia is perhaps the U.S.'s closest ally in the region besides Israel, and some observers expect the incident could lead to a rupture in relations. Others express skepticism that the Trump administration, which has sought to further strengthen ties to Riyadh in the wake of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump takes credit for passing veterans bill that passed under Obama Orlando Sentinel declines to endorse Trump in 2020 Progressive activist: Democratic nominee will 'need to ride a little bit to the center' MORE's presidency, will hold the country accountable if the reports are revealed to be accurate.

Pompeo in his statement noted that the U.S. had received conflicting accounts of Khashoggi's disappearance. He added that State Department officials have contacted Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels and are looking into the matter.