Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, lived in self-imposed exile in the US since September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia amid a crackdown on critical voices.
Khashoggi, 60, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government who has also slammed Riyadh's aggression on Yemen, went missing on Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a marriage license, Presstv Reported.
An adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that he believed Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate.
“I do not see Donald Trump taking any substantive action,” Wilmer Leon told Press TV on Monday.
“He’ll probably come out and say: ‘Well we’re probably looking into it; this is a rumor; we’re having conversations about this'; but I’ll be very surprised if you see any tangible reaction and action taken by the Trump administration on this issue,” Leon said.
Members of the US Congress from both parties are demanding answers of Saudi Arabia's government regarding the disappearance of Khashoggi.
“Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and dissident, was called to the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on Tuesday, and has not been seen or heard from since,” US Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said in a tweet on Sunday. “Tragically, he is now feared dead. We must demand immediate answers from the Saudi government.”
Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has personally discussed the issue with the Saudi ambassador to the US and asked the consulate in Istanbul to disclose video footage, according to a statement from his office.
Democratic Senators Chris Coons and Chris Murphy, who are also of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, sent tweets directed at the Saudi government demanding to know what happened to Khashoggi.
The Trump administration has established a close relationship with the Saudi regime to pressure Iran and forge an Israeli-Arab alliance.
But US lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, long suspicious of Saudi extremism and historic ties to terrorism, more recently have been highly critical of Saudi actions in Yemen and at home.
The Washington Post, where Khashoggi was working since last year, also urged the US government to "demand answers" from Saudi Arabia about the journalist’s disappearance.