Khashoggi fiancée turns down invite from Trump to visit White House

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The fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist who was killed this month, said she declined an invitation from President Trump to visit the White House. 

Hatice Cengiz, a doctoral student in Istanbul, told a Turkish TV broadcaster she rejected Trump’s invitation because she viewed it as one with the goal of influencing public opinion in the U.S., according to BBC.

“I demand that all those involved in this savagery from the highest to the lowest levels are punished and brought to justice,” she added in an interview with Haberturk TV. 

BBC noted that Cengiz said she has not been contacted by Saudi officials and that she would likely not travel to Saudi Arabia for a funeral if Khashoggi’s body is discovered.  

Khashoggi, a U.S.-based Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of the Saudi government, was killed after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. 

For weeks, Saudi leaders insisted that Khashoggi had left the consulate and denied having knowledge of his disappearance. 

But as international scrutiny continued to increase, Saudi officials said last week that the journalist was killed following an altercation inside the consulate. 

The kingdom’s top prosecutor announced earlier this week that Khashoggi was killed in a “premeditated” murder.
Trump has ramped up his rhetoric regarding the incident. He said on Tuesday that the killing of Khashoggi was the “worst cover-up ever” and vowed to hold those responsible accountable. 
The administration also revoked visas for officials identified by Saudis in connection with the killing. 
But some U.S. lawmakers have called for Trump to take direct action against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom many have accused of having knowledge of the incident. 
Cengiz wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times earlier this month that she would only consider visiting the White House if Trump made a “genuine contribution to the efforts to reveal what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that day.” 
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