BlackRock and Blackstone CEOs withdraw from Saudi conference

Sending Our Secretary' Says Trump As Saudi Probes Khashoggi Case

President Donald Trump says he has spoken to the king of Saudi Arabia, who denies any knowledge of what happened to a Saudi journalist who visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and then disappeared and is feared dead.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida and in Georgia.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, hurriedly sent to Riyadh, expected to get more clarity during talks with Saudi leaders Tuesday.

Mnuchin has become the face of the Trump administration's unwillingness to back away from Riyadh amid rising global attention to the fate of Khashoggi, who hasn't been seen since going into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Khashoggi's disappearance is threatening to spark a geopolitical crisis as the USA and Turkey demand answers from Saudi Arabia.

The Washington Post reported in recent days that the Turkish government informed USA officials it was in possession of video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, but have not made them public.

Trump said that he did not discuss potential consequences for Saudi Arabia if it is discovered that they did have a role in Khashoggi's disappearance.

A Saudi official, not authorised to speak publicly, said the king had ordered an internal investigation based on information from the joint team in Istanbul.

Speaking on Monday about the potential cost for Saudi Arabia, Trump only told the media that "the world is watching".

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Khashoggi vanished more than a week ago in Istanbul, after he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate there for some routine paperwork.

Mnuchin has repeatedly been called on to say whether he'd still attend the summit, which is part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's efforts to modernize the country's economy and wean it off its dependence on oil.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, said King Salman thanked Erdogan "for welcoming the kingdom's proposal" for forming the working group.

"I believe the Trump administration will do something, the president has said that", Rubio said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning.

Mr Trump said King Salman of Saudi Arabia strongly denied that the kingdom had any connection to the missing journalist, whose writings were often highly critical of the ruling royal family, reports the New York Post. The Saudi regime has come under intense pressure to prove that Khashoggi left the consulate alive.

He and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, have forged close ties.

15 Saudi men in the military and security services who are said to have targeted Khasgoggi.

Stephen Pagliuca, co-chairman at U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital, also pulled out of the conference, a source told Reuters on Monday.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to retaliate economically for any U.S. punitive action. President Donald Trump said in a "60 Minutes" interview that it's possible the Saudis could be responsible for his disappearance and if so, he would inflict "severe punishment". A Saudi delegation reportedly had entered the consulate one hour before the Turkish police arrived and appeared still to be inside as the search was conducted.

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