Kudlow defends Mnuchin's Saudi Arabia trip amid search for missing journalist

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee has said she will only consider accepting Donald Trump's invitation to the White House if the U.S. president is prepared to make a "genuine contribution" to investigating the Saudi critic's disappearance.

White House reporter for CBS Kathryn Watson said Trump has told reporters Pompeo will leave "within an hour".

But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Mnuchin should not attend the economic summit because the United States should not continue "business as usual" with Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance.

"I sounded to me like maybe there could have been rogue killers".

The US president gave no evidence to support the theory. The dissident Saudi journalist's Turkish colleagues and several Turkish officials have voiced concerns that he was murdered in the consulate. Pompeo will "immediately" travel to meet the Saudi king, Trump wrote. Footage emerged Tuesday showing Khashoggi entering the building the week before.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to speculate on what Trump might do after the president promised "severe punishment" in a "60 Minutes" interview, if the US determines that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

On Monday, King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.

The Turkish team included a prosecutor, a deputy prosecutor, anti-terror police and forensic experts, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

A group of cleaners was seen entering earlier.

'We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response'. The Sabah daily newspaper said investigators had wanted to search the building with luminol, a chemical which shows up any traces of blood.

Mr Aldakhil's extraordinary message comes after Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey to get marriage documents. CNN first reported that the Saudis were planning to admit Khashoggi died in the consulate.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents but Riyadh insists that he left the consulate unharmed. He is a USA resident.

And business leaders are abandoning the conference, too.

The head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, is one of the latest high-profile executives to pull out. Ford chairman Bill Ford and Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi are also among those who will not be attending the conference.

It is still unclear whether US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will attend the conference.

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