France imposes sanctions against 18 Saudis over Khashoggi murder

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Donald Trump's comments about Jamal Khashoggi's killing show the US president will turn a blind eye to the issue no matter what investigators uncover, Turkey's foreign minister said Friday.

"Whether he did or whether he didn't, he denies it vehemently", Trump said.

A Turkish newspaper reported on Thursday CIA director Gina Haspel signaled to Turkish officials last month that the agency had a recording of a call in which Saudi Arabia's crown prince gave instructions to "silence" Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!"

On Friday, Whiton appeared on Fox News for a discussion in which he defended Trump's decision not to punish the Saudi Royal Family - despite the CIA's "high confidence" findings that they orchestrated the Khashoggi hit-job.

Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Wednesday he was "astounded" by Mr Trump's statement and likened it to a press release for Saudi Arabia.

"They've helped me keep them down", he said.

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, shakes hands with Salah Khashoggi the son of slained journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"They did not come to a conclusion", Trump said Thursday. Saudi Arabia has been a longtime strategic partner.

Jubeir also said any possible U.S. sanctions on Saudi Arabia would be short-sighted.

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds up a bone saw outside the White House in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2018, as protesters demand justice for Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

After lengthy denials, Saudi authorities admitted responsibility and said 21 people had been taken into custody.

Jubeir insisted that Prince Mohammed had not been involved in the killing.

"Trump's statements amount to him saying 'I'll turn a blind eye no matter what, '" he said. "We should not distance ourselves from human values", Cavusoglu told CNN Turk. While overall data is not available, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that "Saudi Arabia's direct investment in the U.S.is led by real estate, information services, and retail trade". "It's about separating a relationship with Saudi Arabia from our relationship with this incredibly volatile risky and unpredictable young man who is campaigning to be the ruler of the country for the next 50 years". We've watched the Saudis actually move in that direction during our time in office as well.

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