Pompeo: Saudis didn't want to discuss 'any of the facts' in Khashoggi disappearance

Pompeo: Saudis didn't want to discuss 'any of the facts' in Khashoggi disappearance
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump isolated amid Syria furor | Pompeo, Pence to visit Turkey in push for ceasefire | Turkish troops advance in Syria | Graham throws support behind Trump's sanctions Graham: Erdoğan pledged to Trump to stay away from Kurdish territory in Syria Trump honors Stanley Cup champions, talks impeachment, Turkey MORE said Wednesday that Saudi officials did not want to discuss the facts of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance in their meetings with him.

"I don’t want to talk about any of the facts," Pompeo said when asked if the Saudis told him if Khashoggi was dead or alive. "They didn’t want to either, in that they want to have the opportunity to complete this investigation in a thorough way."

Instead, Pompeo said that they discussed the investigation and the two countries' "many overlapping interests" during meetings Tuesday.

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In his conversations with King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Pompeo said he "stressed the importance of them conducting a complete investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and they made a commitment."

"They said they would do that and they said it would be a thorough, complete, and transparent investigation," Pompeo said. "We’ll all see the results of that. They made a commitment that they would show the entire world the results of their investigation."

He added that the Saudi officials said they would get the probe "done quickly," though he said he did not "know the precise timeline."

Whatever comes of the investigation, Pompeo said that the Saudis "made a commitment ... to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found accountable for that, whether they are a senior officer or official."

"They made no exceptions to who they would hold accountable."

Khashoggi, a U.S.-based Saudi journalist, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. 

Turkish officials have said the dissident writer was murdered and dismembered within the building, a claim Saudi officials have denied.

The crown prince has denied having any knowledge of Khashoggi's fate.

When asked whether he believed the Saudis' denials, Pompeo said, "I think that’s a reasonable thing to do to give them that opportunity, and then we’ll all get to judge, we’ll all get to evaluate the work that they do.

"I’m waiting for the investigation to be completed."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE has promised to "severely punish" Saudi officials if they are found to have been involved in Khashoggi's apparent death, but has been hesitant to assume that the crown prince is responsible for the journalist's fate.

Pompeo will travel Wednesday to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the administration continues to search for the truth behind Khashoggi's disappearance.