Jamal Khashoggi's family is 'traumatized,' wants 'independent' and 'international' probe

President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

While the search was being carried out, CNN and the New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia was preparing to acknowledge Khashoggi's death in a botched interrogation.

Media reported that Turkish investigators believe the journalist was murdered inside the consulate, but Saudi Arabia claims that Khashoggi went missing after he left the building.

CNN reported Monday, citing sources, that "Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was meant to lead to his abduction from Turkey".

With Trump now appearing to buy into theories about "rogue killers" being responsible, even while Ankara claims it possesses strong evidence of Riyadh's guilt, it seems certain that anyone expecting a strong U.S. response to Khashoggi's disappearance would be well advised to lower their expectations now.

King Salman has replaced two crown princes in the past.

In a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom warned that if it "receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy". He said that Saudi Arabia had made investments in hotels, manufacturing and real estate in the USA and that cutting these would "hurt the USA economy significantly". Cengiz waits for him outside for four hours, but he never comes out and is told by consulate staff that he left out a back door.

Mr Trump has said Saudi Arabia could face "severe punishment" if it was proven it was involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Investigators have been arriving at the building in Istanbul - first a Saudi team followed by Turkish forensic police.

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But in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance, many media and entertainment companies have been distancing themselves from the kingdom.

"It has yet again shown the world that the Saudi government doesn't care about the law, doesn't care about basic human dignity, basic ethos of protecting people who enter your consulate, much less a prominent journalist", Whitson said.

"Saudi Arabia has also suggested reducing its investments in the usa economy, which is now evaluated at $800 billion (€690 billion)", Meyer added.

"Pelosi also cited Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's planned trip to a financial conference in Riyadh, despite many having pulled out, and added, "[Trump's] relationship with Saudi Arabia is something".

Prince Mohammed has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

A critic of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Mr Khashoggi visited the consulate to obtain a document confirming he had divorced his ex-wife, in order to allow him to remarry.

Also expressing support was Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who famously announced his resignation during a televised statement from Saudi Arabia in late 2017 before rescinding his decision.

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