Turkey’s Erdogan questions lack of video footage in Saudi journalist’s disappearance

Turkey’s Erdogan questions lack of video footage in Saudi journalist’s disappearance
© Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday questioned claims from Saudi officials that the country's consulate in Istanbul only has cameras that record live footage as Turkey looks into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Reuters reported that Erdoğan told reporters that Turkey is "investigating all aspects" of Khashoggi's disappearance. The Washington Post contributor and vocal critic of the Saudi government was last seen entering the consulate in Istanbul, but was not seen leaving.

“Is it possible for there to be no camera systems at the Saudi Arabia consulate, where the event took place?,” Erdoğan, said, according to local news reports.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Turkish president expressed skepticism over statements by Saudi officials that their cameras only provide live feeds, and therefore can't be used to look at recorded footage from when Khashoggi was last seen. 

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Daily Beast that he received a similar explanation about the cameras from the Saudi ambassador.

"I’ve never ever heard of a security system like that," Corker said. "That was pretty hard for me to believe. And I shared that with him."

Khashoggi has been missing since last week. Turkish officials have reportedly concluded that he was murdered at the consulate and that his body was dismembered on orders from Saudi leadership.

Saudi officials have denied the allegations.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE on Wednesday said that he'd spoken with Saudi leadership at the "highest level" about Khashoggi, but would not speculate about whether the country should be held responsible if reports of the journalist's death are accurate.

National security adviser John Bolton and White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE phoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on Tuesday to ask for information about Khashoggi, according to the White House.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Overnight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents MORE then had a follow-up call with the crown prince, who has close ties to several Trump administration officials, including Kushner.

Khashoggi's disappearance has prompted an outcry from numerous U.S. lawmakers, with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee invoking sanctions legislation on Wednesday that requires trump to investigate his whereabouts.