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CONNECT THE WORLD
CNN Has Now Learned That US Intelligence Intercepts Show Saudi Officials Had Discussed A Plan To Lure Jamal Khashoggi Back To Saudi Arabia From The US And Detain Him; Stock Prices Plunging Worldwide Over The Past 24 Hours As Concerns About Rising Interest Rates And The Economic Impact Of Trade Wars Sent Stock Markets Into Freefall; The Florida Panhandle Is Waking Up To Widespread Destruction From Hurricane Michael. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired October 11, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Live from Istanbul this hour, a city at the heart of a geopolitically dynamite who'd done it - the
disappearance of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi after a diplomatic appointment in a consulate just minutes from here. This is "Connect The
World" with me, Becky Anderson. We have a packed show, so let's get straight to it.
It's a story that has sparked global outcry, the disappearance of a well- known Saudi journalist and regular contributor to "The Washington Post" after a visit to the Istanbul consulate a little more than a week ago.
Well, CNN has now learned that US intelligence intercepts show Saudi officials had discussed a plan to lure Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia
from the US and detain him.
Meanwhile, Turkey is releasing more video it says has links to the case. This was the moment 15 Saudis arrived at the Turk Airport just hours before
the journalist entered the Saudi consulate . That is according to Turkish state TV.
The Saudi government continues to deny any involvement in the disappearance. Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson pieces
together about what's known about Khashoggi's arrival at the consulate, and the hours immediately afterwards.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Four faithful steps and he is gone. The last movements Jamal Khashoggi was seen alive in
public entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, October 2nd.
That was at 1:14 p.m. on Tuesday. What happened over the next hour and three quarters remains at the center of this mystery call to the
At a little after 3:00 p.m., several consular vehicles were seen leaving the consulate. The question now, was Khashoggi in one of those vehicles,
and if so was he alive? The vehicles pull away just after three in the afternoon. Arriving minutes later at the consul general's house nearby.
The dark windowed van disappears from view into the compound.
These tantalizing CCTV recordings leaked to Turkish media have Turkish investigators scratching their heads. How could Khashoggi just disappear?
Their investigations are being hampered. Saudi officials had promised access to the consulate hidden behind a high razor wire top wall. But now
Turkish officials say the Saudis are not cooperating.
Piling on the pressure, a Turkish pro-government national newspaper has published names and pictures of 15 Saudi men who Turkish officials confirm
to CNN are persons of interest in Khashoggi's disappearance.
A Saudi source familiar with four of the men confirms to CNN one of them is a former diplomat in London and an intelligence officer, another is a
CNN has pieced together a timeline for how at least some of these men got to Istanbul. Some left Riyadh at 11.30 p.m. Monday on a private jet
landing in Istanbul around 3.30 a.m., hours before Khashoggi disappears. Leaked CCTV recordings show the plane arriving at Ataturk airport at 3.28
a.m. Minutes later, nine men from the aircraft are picked up on cameras going through passport control. They head to a city hotel.
At around 5:00 a.m. that morning, they check into this hotel just around the corner from the consulate. About four and a half hours, later they all
leave divided into small groups.
Investigators believe they went to the consulate to wait for Khashoggi. CNN has also tracked the second charter jet arriving from Riyadh at a
critical moment that day. It lands in Istanbul around 4:00 p.m. and leaves just one hour later stopping in Cairo on route back to Saudi.
Why is this important? Turkish officials say the other plane that left later in the evening with Saudis on it was checked their bags x-rayed, but
we don't know whether the first Saudi plane to leave Istanbul was checked ...
ROBERTSON: ... and it left about two hours after that van swept into the consul's residence. As it flew to Saudi, Khashoggi's fiancee was pacing up
and down outside the consulate. More and more anxious, more than a week after Jamal Khashoggi entered this building to finalize his marriage
papers. The mystery of what happened to him continues to deepen.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Well, Nic Robertson joining me now from outside the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul and Nic, what is the very latest there at the
consulate on the investigation into Jamal's disappearance?
ROBERTSON: Becky, I think in a word, nothing. And it's nothing because the Saudis are not giving Turkish investigators the access that they said
two days ago they would. Turkish investigators say they believe that's where Jamal Khashoggi was killed. They have a good sense of what they want
to do when they go inside there and the Saudis are not letting that happen.
And I think this was amplified by what we heard from President Erdogan today when he said, "You know, we cannot remain silent in the face of what
has happened in our country. This is not a normal occurrence." So President Erdogan there taking a tougher line publicly than we've heard him
recently, and I think that indicates a level of frustration, but also that he believes the United States is coming on board and getting behind his
position that something nefarious did happen here to Jamal Khashoggi and that's giving him the boost that has been looking for to begin to put more
pressure publicly on Saudi Arabia. Becky?
ANDERSON: So Nic, while it is still very unclear as to what happened, a Saudi source telling CNN, one of the 15 men of interest is a former
diplomat in London, another a Saudi intelligence officer, another man a forensics expert. Despite this, the Saudi government and I quote,
"Categorically denies any involvement in Jamal's disappearance, saying Saudi Arabia priority lies in supporting the investigation to reveal the
truth behind his disappearance."
Nic, five days ago, the consul general gave reporters a tour of that very consulate, but since then, Turkish officials have accused the Saudis of not
cooperating. As I say, the truth very unclear here, but we've just heard word from the Turkish Foreign Minister who says they must cooperate. What
is going on?
ROBERTSON: We're at an impasse. We are at a moment where one side - and there are three pieces, I think, principal pieces in this puzzle. Both
Turkey, President Erdogan, the United States, President Trump, and the Saudi leadership at the moment, the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who
is going to blink? Is President Trump going to bust up or at least get tough with a very important ally, an economic ally, a foreign policy ally?
Is Mohammed Bin Salman going to back away from the line that the government is very clear on and many Saudis believe that this is just a political play
by Turkey and its allies that they allege in Qatar.
Or is President Erdogan going to blink and accept some sort of fudge around this? But as he says, it's in our face and we can't do that. So I think,
you know, it's very hard to judge where the situation goes from here, but those are the principle players. And the reality is, it seems that we are
headed for a deepening rift and split between Turkey and Saudi Arabia because Saudi Arabia appears with all the information that the Turkish
authorities are putting forward, are being backed into a corner where there's very little way out for them at the moment.
And the United States could be the real power player here, you know essentially, potentially further down the road putting some kind of
sanctions or restrictions on Saudi Arabia, crimping that very important relationship because of what Saudi Arabia is believed to have done here.
ANDERSON: Yes, and let's talk about that relationship because we have learned that the Saudi Crown Prince personally reached out to President
Trump's son-in-law once it became clear that Saudi Arabia was being blamed for Khashoggi's disappearance. We are told Crown Prince Mohammed Bin
Salman specifically called Jared Kushner to deny the accusations. That relationship, Nic, between the Crown Prince and Kushner, has been key to
Saudi/US relations during this past couple of years under the Trump administration.
ANDERSON: Just briefly how and why?
ROBERTSON: Well, Jared Kushner is President Trump's advisor on the Middle East. He's very much trusted. He is the inner circle of trust for
President Trump. President Trump is Jared Kushner's father-in-law. Mohammed Bin Salman is young like Jared Kushner, and his father is King
So you have two, relatively young men who seem to see eye to eye, who have mutual interests for their national strategic views in keeping a close
partnership and they do the running, the trusted running between their relative leaderships, but it was interesting that US National Security
adviser John Bolton joined that conversation with Jared Kushner that he was having with Mohammed Bin Salman and later, that call was followed up by US
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who had his own call with Mohammed Bin Salman and I think part of that message was, don't try to run around the
official lines, the State Department, if you will, in this relationship with the United States.
So at the moment, a lot of this is going to depend on President Trump's view of all of this, and the evidence that comes forward, of course,
they're playing it - they're taking a cautious view. President Trump says he doesn't like this, it's bad. That's what he said about - with Mohammed
ANDERSON: Lest we forget a man has disappeared under extremely murky circumstances, but you did touch this earlier, very different views across
the Middle East on this disappearance. Saudi Arabia's "Al Arabiya," for example, calling the 15 Saudi investigators named by Turkish tourists and
calls new information, quote, "scenarios leaked by Turkish and Qatari outlets." Qatar's Al Jazeera calls the 15 men Saudi's assassination squad.
The UAE based national newspaper begins an article describing how Khashoggi is one of the most connected journalists to Osama Bin Ladin, saying he has
ties to the Muslim brotherhood. How significant are these different narratives in shaping public opinion?
ROBERTSON: It shows you how big the rift is in the region. A lot of people in Saudi Arabia absolutely believe what Mohammed Bin Salman and the
government there has been saying, that this is a political ploy, a put up job, to damage the image of Saudi Arabia.
Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia was a trusted, respected journalist that had been pushed out of a couple of editor's jobs over the years for
stepping over the line. People knew that he was stepping over the line. More recently his image or his star, if you will, had fallen because he'd
left the country, left his family behind and in the Saudi view, that's a very negative thing. So there's a disposition with Saudi not to look so
favorably upon Jamal Khashoggi.
He had begun by praising Mohammed Bin Salmam for all the reforms he was doing, the social reforms, particularly for the young people. Khashoggi
has said this was very important, but had then become - criticizing him for the that way he was doing it and that was applauded outside of the country.
So the view outside country far more positively disposed to Khashoggi because he was saying the things that people outside looking into Saudi
Arabia thought were true and Saudi had began to feel like unjustified criticism.
So yes, on this issue, the view of Jamal Khashoggi and what he represents and now, his sort of if you will, being slurred in a way, his name way, is
being slurred in a way, it is typifying that divide. On the Osama Bin Ladin stuff, he worked in Afghanistan alongside Saudi officials and became
a key interlocutor with many of those Saudi people, with many of those Al- Qaeda members, with the Saudi government.
So the Saudi government actually trusted him, valued him and gave him a job in part based on that knowledge.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is on the ground outside the consulate with the very latest on the investigation and that wider, important contextual
analysis that sort of ring fences what is going on here at present.
Again, we have no idea, of course, what has happened at this point to Jamal Khashoggi, Nic, thank you.
The US President says his administration is being very tough with Saudi Arabia as it investigates the troubling disappearance and as we've heard,
several senators are pressuring Donald Trump to place sanctions on those responsible.
ANDERSON: CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is live for us in Washington. This whole episode building up, a real head of steam in
Washington today, Elise, some 20 US senators sending Trump a bipartisan letter pressuring the President to sanction Saudi, why is President Trump
seemingly so hesitant to call Riyadh out on this, to get tough on Riyadh at this point?
ELISE LABOTT, GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, when you talk to officials, Becky, there's no hard evidence yet that Jamal is actually dead,
that they actually killed him. There is certainly mounting evidence, and I think that's why you've seen over the last several days that US rhetoric
has gradually kind of stepped up and clearly the Congress has been in the lead on that.
Last week Secretary Pompeo spoke to the Saudi Ambassador and said, "We need you to provide some evidence." Well, five days later, no evidence was
coming and that's when you started to see the kind of rhetoric come out, calls for sanctions, calls for an investigation.
The US is really walking a real tightrope here. Obviously, the relationship with Saudi Arabia very important, a critical ally, President
Trump has alluded to arm sales, US jobs being a real factor, but in the face of this mounting evidence, I think the US - its initial inclination
would be to try and protect the Saudis and clearly try and, you know, tamp this down until there was something firmer.
I think the fact that you've seen President Trump come out in front and say, "Well, it's not looking so good. I don't like what I see," shows that
the US is starting to collect some evidence and we know from US officials that there have been intercepts between Saudi officials talking about
luring Jamal back home, trying to lure him back home, possibly to assassinate him, probably to detain him. We don't really know.
But clearly over the last several months as he's been increasing his criticism, the US has been picking up these intercepts.
ANDERSON: Elise, I want to get your take on the following. The State Department just yesterday had to clarify to journalists that the US doesn't
have an ambassador in Turkey or in Saudi Arabia, just two of many vacant positions. With regard this specific story, how significant is that, do
LABOTT: Well, it's significant that you don't have an ambassador in those two critical posts, no question. I mean, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are two
of the most important countries as you know, Becky living in the region, these are really kind of the cornerstones of US Security in the region.
Does it make a particular difference on this? I might be a naysayer and say I really don't think so, particularly in Saudi Arabia where you have
Jared Kushner calling the Crown Prince himself, you have Secretary of State Pompeo calling the Crown Prince himself, John Bolton is on the line - these
relationships in Saudi Arabia particularly are run by Washington. And the senior levels of government, the President and the King, and it's always
been like that.
The Saudi ambassador usually has a lot of clout here because he is part of the Royal family, but in Washington, usually, it's a political friend of
the President who has a symbolic role, clearly the ambassador is there to kind of nudge and stuff and that might be more helpful in a case like this.
But is this having an effect on whether the Saudis are providing answers? No. I don't think so.
In Turkey, usually a career diplomat is there and that's very important. I just don't think in this particular case that's going to be what really
tips the scales here. It's going to be that hard pressure from Washington and indeed, even President Trump himself.
ANDERSON: Elise Labott is in Washington, and keep it right here on "Connect the World," we're going to get more on the US perspective with
lawmaker Gerry Connolly joining us at the half hour for more on the narrative around this and just what sort of effect this might have on US-
Saudi relations going forward and, indeed, US-Turkish relations if we could be so bold to suggest that. That's coming up in about - well, just less
than 20 minutes' time.
Ragip Soylu is the Washington correspondent for "The Daily Sabah," a private Turkish pro-government newspaper joining me now. You probably
don't want me to say that, but if we were looking to the leanings of that, that would be how I would describe it.
Sir, your organization has been out front on much of the reporting on what is going so far as this investigation is concerned. Again, I say, we do
not know what has happened to Jamal Khashoggi at the moment. Much of what you have been printing and discussing has been sourced from where?
ANDERSON: Because government officials here have been very, very reticent to talk.
RAGIP SOYLU, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY SABAH: Of course there are multiple sources that we covered stories from. Based on these sources,
sometimes, it can be the Istanbul police and can be the officials in Ankara in high levels, but of course, we are trying to cover the story as
objective as you guys are doing. But so far, it seems like Turkish government played a strategy to pressure the United States to move in and
take some responsibility because before going to media, it seems to me the Turkish officials had several meetings with the Saudis and the presented
the evidence and they tried to get answers from them.
But so far they were muted. They are not taking responsibility and they are not coming with answers. So after that, Turkish officials decided to
leak stuff to media to basically present evidence to the public opinion and also the officials in the United States and try to grab their attention an
just make them pressure Saudi Arabia.
ANDERSON: Right. So I am going to continue to say this throughout this hour, lest we forget, there is a man's disappearance at stake here because
this thing has - it seems a lot bigger than just Jamal, but we have to remember that this man's life it seems, if he's still alive, is at stake
I want to bring in a tweet from the Director of the Turkish Program at the Washington Institute, so I want to talk about this Ankara strategy as it
were, who writes these slow flow - let's bring this up, the slow flow of information coming out of Turkey could be meant to pressure the US to align
with Ankara, and I quote, "with nearly no allies in the Middle East, Turkey wants to make sure it has America's backing before pushing back against
Riyadh." That resonates with what you have just explained to me.
If that is the case, and this is Ankara's strategy, is it working?
SOLYU: I think it's kind of working, if you can follow President Trump's tweets and speeches so far. He had an exclusive interview today, his
morning, on Fox News, and he basically said he was being tough with Saudi Arabia, but actually misled the public because he claimed that there were
American investigators in Turkey helping to investigate this disappearance story, but apparently according to three separate Turkish officials that I
spoke to today that there are no American officials or American investigators on the ground investigating these matters.
ANDERSON: Again, these are officials that you spoke to.
ANDERSON: Let me press you on this because everything has been so murky here. It is so easy to be blindsided by these leaks coming out. You have
said you talked to officials amongst whom would be, for example, police officers, who else? I mean, who are we supposed to believe? We have the
greatest of respect because the reporting is important, officials could be anybody, sir.
SOLYU: Of course, these are bilateral matters, so those are diplomatic sources that I regularly talk and proven to be confidential and pro ...
ANDERSON: Partisan? Polarized?
SOLYU: They are providing correct information so far, proven rightfully. Look, we shouldn't play a blame game here. There is a criminal matter. As
you said, a man disappeared and the Turkish police investigate it and the Turkish intelligence investigate it. They got some evidences and they just
presented those evidences to the public.
But on the other hand, the Saudi officials - look at them, they are muted. They are not providing any answers. I mean, this person got inside the
consulate and he never came out, and if you look at so far the statements coming from Saudi Arabia, they're just saying he left but our cameras are
not working. We don't know what happened to him.
ANDERSON: As far as you understand, now I understand very, very briefly, in fact, I tell you, I'm going to take a short break. I'm going to keep
you with me on the show because I want to find out where you believe this investigation is and where it will go next. Stand by Ragip Solyu from "The
Daily Sabah," I'm going to be speaking to him as I say a little later on.
Live from Istanbul with a lot more on this story ahead. We have got two other big stories for you this hour. When we come back, we'll go live to
Wall Street to see how six stocks are feeling today and scenes of devastation the day after the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida
panhandle. We're going to go to ground zero on that after this.
ANDERSON: Well, you're looking live at the New York Stock Exchange where a global stock sell-off started yesterday and while it continues, it's not as
significant as it was. In fact, US stocks do seem to be recovering somewhat, but the market is still down by what? Three quarters of one
percent, give or take, some loose change.
In the past few minutes, they've begun falling again. Stock prices plunging worldwide over the past 24 hours as concerns about rising interest
rates and the economic impact of trade wars sent stock markets into freefall. US President Donald Trump blaming the US Federal Reserve which
he says has been reckless in raising rates, so Asian stocks were really hard hit with many markets falling free fall or even 5%.
Well, the Florida panhandle is waking up to widespread destruction from Hurricane Michael. At least two people are dead across the southern US and
many houses were destroyed in North Florida Beach communities. These pictures taken by CNN helicopter over what's known as Mexico Beach just a
short time ago showing the destruction is quite terrifying.
Michael was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the area. At least a half a million people do not have power today. Well, CNN's Dianne Gallagher is
in Panama City in Florida and what are you witnessing there?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: You know, Becky, I think the best way to describe this is the destruction and devastation and it varies
depending on where you are on the Florida panhandle and how Hurricane Michael hit it. Here in Panama City, you can see this right here, this
building, just completely ripped apart by those intense winds just two miles away from being a Category 5. This was a strong Category 4 storm,
just taking buildings down.
We're seeing this basically on every block -- schools, churches, homes, trees down on top of houses and trailers -- everywhere. But as you go
further over to Mexico Beach that you just talked about, that is where the Hurricane made landfall and from the air, you get a good picture of just
how devastating this is.
Seeing these pictures, Becky, reminds me a lot of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and it's just because this entire area of Mexico Beach is obliterated.
You go quite a bit before you see another house. Everything is gone, and look, the people here in Panama City are - it's mid-morning. It feels like
it's a lot later in the day because people have been waiting to get on the roads, but they have a long way to go, Becky. Help is here, but it's going
to be a long time before things are back to normal, if they ever are.
ANDERSON: Appreciate that update on that. Live from Istanbul, this evening, this is "Connect The World." Coming up, we're going to ask a US
lawmaker about what he wants the US to do about the disappearance of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. That after this.
We are live from Istanbul this hour. This is "Connect The World" with me, Becky Anderson. A very warm welcome back and to those who are just joining
us, you are more than welcome. There is more and more pressure on the US President Donald Trump to look into what happened to Saudi journalist,
Jamal Khashoggi right here in this city just minutes from where we are here.
More than 20 senators from both parties sent Trump a letter Wednesday, demanding an investigation. Well, the move could lead to US sanctions
under the so-called Global Magnitsky Act.
President Trump suggested Wednesday that any move against Saudi Arabia could cost US arm sales and jobs. We're joined now by US Congressman Gerry
Connolly. He is a Democrat from Virginia who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
ANDERSON: And you want Donald Trump to get tougher on Saudi? You say if the Saudis are responsible for the crime, you don't ask the criminal to
investigate himself. Sir, with the greatest of respect at this point, it isn't clear yet that the Saudis are behind this disappearance. In fact,
they categorically deny they have anything to do with it. Let's just deal with that first, sir.
GERRY CONNOLLY, US CONGRESSMAN, VIRGINIA, DEMOCRAT: Yes, I think we certainly have to allow for the possibility that the Saudis did not do
something wrong, but all of the indications coming out of the Turkish intelligence services would suggest otherwise, would suggest that the
Saudis flew in, what the Turks have described as a 15-member hit team on two private jets, they proceeded to the consulate, included in the number
were an autopsy expert and a forensics expert and allegedly a bone saw.
Why you would need that in a consulate, one does not know. The Saudis have failed to adequately explain where is Mr. Khashoggi? When did he leave?
Show us the video of his departure? There is no such video. We have video of him going in, we have none going out. There are reports of both US and
Turkish intelligence picking up an actual plot by the Saudis.
There's a lot of circumstantial evidence here, so the first thing that has to happen is that President Trump has to demand of the Saudis an
explanation for what happened. Secondly, there has to be an independent, international investigation, forensic investigation of what transpired in
that consulate, and if the facts that have been put out by Turkish authorities have been confirmed, then penalties need to be imposed, severe
penalties, on the Saudi government. We cannot accept this kind of behavior.
ANDERSON: All right, you've been sensible to suggest these are currently allegations and that we are awaiting and demand more information of exactly
where Jamal Khashoggi is. Meantime, let's talk about what you just alluded to, the potential for sanctions possibly going forward. This is certainly
what has been demanded by 20 senators from both parties who sent Donald Trump a letter on Wednesday demanding an investigation.
I want to remind our viewers that they alluded to the Magnitsky Act and that requires the President to and I quote, "Determine whether a foreign
person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing torture or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual
exercising freedom of expression."
Donald Trump now has 120 days to make a determination and a decision on the imposition of sanctions on that foreign person or persons. What should
happen then if it determined if Saudi Arabia is responsible for this disappearance or killing?
CONNOLLY: I think really, the British reaction coordinated with allies including the United States after the Russians attempted to poison two
Russian citizens on British soil was a good model. Russian diplomats were expelled and not only from Great Britain , but from allied nations
including the United States and sanctions were imposed.
In the case of Saudi Arabia, we've got an even more extensive menu. There's a long, 70-year history, military relationship history as well as
diplomatic and economic, trade and investment, there are markets that could be closed to Saudi products, that's going to be admittedly difficult
because of Saudi's predominant influence in the oil market.
But we cannot accept that the new norm in international diplomacy is you can murder somebody on your sovereign territory in another country. Not
acceptable. If we go down that road - it's the law of the jungle.
ANDERSON: Let me put this to you, I want to get your sense on this, Mr. Trump is suggesting earlier that blocking US arm sales to Saudi Arabia, he
said could harm the US economy. Let's have a listen to what he said on Fox News a little bit earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think that would be hurting us. You know, we have jobs, we have, you know, a lot of things
happening in this country, we have a country that's doing probably better economically than it's ever done before. A part of that is what we're
doing with our defense systems and everybody is wanting them and frankly, I think that that would be a very, very ...
TRUMP: ... tough pill to swallow for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Some might say that Donald Trump's circumspection in all of this, saying that he is to work in coordination with Saudi officials, but
praising to a certain extent there the value of US trade with the Saudis is quite frankly a sensible position at this point with no concrete evidence
or information as to exactly what has happened to Jamal Khashoggi.
CONNOLLY: Well, that's the third time you've made that emphasis and I would simply suggest to you that in any court of law, circumstantial
evidence is evidence and there's growing circumstantial evidence here, the Saudis most certainly did something that is despicable and Mr. Khashoggi is
likely dead. That is the conclusion that seems to be growing both in Turkish and US intelligence sources. It's not like their hands are clean.
We don't have actual proof because we don't have a body, because allegedly, pieces of that body were carved up and taken out of the consulate by the
15-member hit team. We need to know if that's true.
What Mr. Trump just said was essentially our military sales relationship and its importance to the US economy is more important than the life of a
US resident who was murdered at the hands of the Saudi government and decided at the highest level and I disagree fundamentally.
And I think we do have a menu of options. Military sales, military training is one of them. Economic and trade investments are another.
Freezing assets is another. Closing up market as we did for Iran oil is another. Diplomatic ties being severely cut back as an expression of the
repugnance of the international community I think is very critical here and frankly, Mr. Trump's remarks almost encourage the Crown Prince to continue
with this sense of impunity that he can do whatever he wants and not worry about the United States' reaction.
And if Mr. Trump doesn't want to do it, final point, Congress will. I assure you.
ANDERSON: US Congressman Gerry Connolly, appreciate having you on today. Thank you for your time.
CONNOLLY: My pleasure, Becky. Thank you.
ANDERSON: Important story. Thank you, live from Istanbul, this is "Connect The World." Coming up, a closer look at why the disappearance of
one man could have such a ripple effect in what is already a tinderbox region. That after this.
ANDERSON: We are in Istanbul in Turkey for you this evening where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing just over a week ago. Turkish
officials privately believe he was killed at his country's consulate, this in the city of Istanbul and President Trump recently weighed in on the
diplomatic crisis saying it will be, and I quote, "A very sad thing if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the operation." Well,
here's a look at jus who that young leader is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I want to congratulate you on everything. Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: Mohammed Bin Salman's rise to power in Saudi Arabia has been nothing short of meteoric pushing major change in the kingdom and making a
name for himself on the world stage, all in his first year as Crown Prince.
He spearheaded a package of reforms dubbed Saudi Vision 2030 to wean the economy of its dependence on oil while opening up society. Reforms like
lifting the ban on women driving and allowing them into sports stadiums, the reopening of cinemas and calls for a return to a more moderate Islam.
In late 2017, the young Prince launched a major crackdown on what he said was widespread corruption in the country. Top businessmen, government
officials and even Saudi Royals, arrested overnight accused of stealing billions of dollars and held at a luxury hotel turned makeshift prison.
Most of the accused were eventually released, but the swift move stunned global investors looking to take advantage of the Kingdom's economic
opening. And nearly weeks away from women being allowed to drive, a number of leading women' rights activists were arrested in a coordinated campaign
accused of having ties with foreign embassies.
The Crown Prince's record on the foreign policy front has been mixed. Fueled by his desire to push back against regional rival, Iran, he's led
the war in Yemen against Houthi rebels who Saudi considers terrorists, worsening what the UN says as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Riyadh was also accused of forcing Lebanon's Prime Minister, a close Saudi ally, to resign from his post during a trip to the Kingdom in an effort to
limit the Shia group Hezbollah's influence in Lebanon. But the plan backfired Saad Hariri rescinded his resignation after returning to Beirut.
And there's a feud with Qatar now in its second year. While it has succeeded in isolating a regional rival, the embargo has divided Arab gulf
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And, of course, the fallout from Khashoggi's disappearance is a massive threat to Mohammed Bin Salman's image and possibly puts billions of
dollars of investments at risk. CNN's John Defterios is tracking the numbers from Abu Dhabi for you.
And John, American politicians ramping up the pressure to not only investigate this disappearance, but possibly lose sanctions. What's on the
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR, CNN: Well, you know, Becky, this is the Crown Prince, now 33 years old, came into power over a year ago, a
young, bold and some would even suggest impulsive. And I think the narrative has changed clearly over the last 24 hours in the US Congress,
which could redefine this very close relationship we have with Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and the one that has been pushing Donald Trump to take
a much harder line against Iran.
This is significant because the President is trying to balance the two priorities right now, politically he says he wants to get to the bottom of
it, but at the same time protect business relations going forward. This is something he went back to people in the United States saying I'm creating
Now, we know that his brain trust, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and his son- in-law, Jared Kushner all had calls with the Crown Prince this week requested by Mohammed Bin Salman because of his tight relationship with
I thought it was interesting, there was not a big readout of what they discussed, but what's at stake here, Becky, I think that's very important
from the business community, President Trump made his first visit overseas to Riyadh, he embraced the Crown Prince and walked away with $110 billion
of military contracts, $200 billion above the military contracts for US companies that that are going to be rolled out over time, Blackstone, for
example, has a $45 billion infrastructure fund invested all over the world and Softbank which is ubiquitous both in Japan and Silicon Valley has a
fund of $100 billion and talking about adding another $45 billion.
This is all outbound money from Saudi Arabia to change Saudi Arabia, but also to burnish the image of Mohammed Bin Salman. Now, inbound, he has a
challenge as well, he is trying to launch as you know five major mega projects, one is a half a trillion dollar new city called Neom ...
DEFTERIOS: ... and of the 19 board members, three have already stepped aside and there are some major players we haven't heard from including the
former CEO of Dow Chemical, the former CEO of Shell, and the former CEO of Uber and Uber is a big company that Mohammed Bin Salman decided to invest
ANDERSON: John Defterios on the money story and you'll hear a lot more from John in the hours to come across our business programming and indeed,
with us as we continue to watch what is going on here in Istanbul. You're watching "Connect The World." Ahead, we look at what is or may be next in
this case, the mystery of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.
We've been in Istanbul all day and for you this hour, a city reeling from a high-profile disappearance of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Let's
bring back our guest, Ragip Solyu who is the Washington correspondent with "The Daily Sabah." This story has such profound implications for this
wider region, but we've been saying all hour, lest we forget a man has disappeared.
You told me earlier that your sources, and this is officials and we've been talking about the fact that officials have been leaking things we're not
hearing a lot of concrete evidence from - or thought from the government here. You said that when Donald Trump said earlier on there were US
investigators on the ground, that your official sources are telling you that that's wrong, correct?
SOLYU: Yes, that's true.
ANDERSON: What else are they telling you?
SOLYU: They're telling me that, you know, look President Trump today said that they're communicating with Turks about this investigation, but
specifically there was no specific American demand to communicate about this issue or help investigators in Turkey to further deep down or go
deeper into this matter.
So I think there is some sort of tactic by the White House that, you know, trying to help Saudis and create some sort of a way out from this mess.
ANDERSON: That's an interesting narrative that will be doing the rounds, I'm sure with some of the more media that are closer to the government and
I allude to it because you and I spoke a little earlier this hour about Ankara's strategy here, how possibly this has been an effort to try and get
a bit closer to the US.
If, indeed, the US really are not speaking to the Turks but are engaged with the Saudis, that sounds as if Erdogan's strategy on this isn't
SOLYU: Yes, I mean, you never know. This is Trump. Like he's impulsive. He can change his mind any time. He said that he would meet the fiancee
and he likes a personal touch whenever he meets these kind of people. He can get emotional and he can change his mind and he can order his officials
or his aides to investigate further and really cooperate with Turks.
Look, for Turks, this is a really, really criminal matter. They didn't want to fight with the Saudis, but this thing happened and they're trying
to figure out and they need American support to figure this out.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you for your help.
SOLYU: Thank you.
ANDERSON: You've watched the sunset over Istanbul with us this hour, but for more than a week now, this city has been left or it certainly left the
world in the dark about what really happened to one journalist in the consulate of Saudi Arabia not far away in the warren of streets that fill
the hills around me. We're going to stay on this story for you of course, digging for the light and the truth. I'm Becky Anderson. That was
"Connect The World" live from Istanbul for you this evening. Thanks for watching.