Kudlow: Mnuchin attending Saudi conference because of topic's importance

Kudlow: Mnuchin attending Saudi conference because of topic's importance
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Larry Kudlow, the top economic advisor for the White House, on Sunday defended Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's plan to attend an economic conference in Saudi Arabia this month despite rising tensions between the U.S. and that country.

"He's intending to go because of the importance of the issue of ending terrorist financing," Kudlow said of Mnuchin on ABC's "This Week."

"But, again, along with the president and the general investigation, Mr. Mnuchin will make up his mind as the week progresses and as new information surfaces," Kudlow added.

Mnuchin has fallen under fire for his intention to attend the conference, after allegations arose that Saudi Arabia had murdered a Saudi journalist in its consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Jamal Khashoggi, who has penned pieces critical of the Saudi government, disappeared after entering the consulate on Oct. 2 to obtain papers for his marriage certificate.

Turkish officials say he was murdered and dismembered within the building by Saudi operatives.

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Saudi officials have denied the allegation and asserted that Khashoggi left the consulate that day.

According to a Washington Post report Wednesday, U.S. intelligence officials uncovered communications between Saudi officials regarding a plan to lure Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia and detain him, under orders from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

Kudlow emphasized earlier Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE will deal with Saudi Arabia severely if the allegations that they harmed Khashoggi are found to be true.