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Missing Saudi Journalist; U.S. Pastor Freed; Searching for Hurricane Michael Survivors; Khashoggi's Apple Watch Recorded His Murder; Trump's Wild Week; Khashoggi's Disappearance Deepens Turkey- Saudi Rift. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired October 13, 2018 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[04:00:00]

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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A grisly new report on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. A source says that he was killed inside the Istanbul consulate and Khashoggi himself may even have recorded it. I'm Becky Anderson live in Istanbul in Turkey.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen at CNN Center, where we are following the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Many people just now getting their first look at the damage this massive storm left behind. NEWSROOM starts right now.

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ANDERSON: A pro government Turkish newspaper has published a shocking report about missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to the article, he activated his Apple Watch upon entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd. It then recorded what happened next, including his alleged torture and killing inside the building. CNN cannot verify this report.

And the Saudis strenuously deny any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance. But the Turks claim to have audio and video recordings that prove that he was murdered.

With billions of dollars' worth of U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia on the line, U.S. president Trump has very little to say at this point about the disturbing allegations but he did say that he would bring it up soon with the Saudi king.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We'll find out what happened with respect to the terrible situation in Turkey having to do with Saudi Arabia and the reporter. And nobody knows quite yet, nobody has been able to put it all together. People are starting to form ideas. And as they are formed, we'll let you know. But it certainly is a terrible thing. I will be calling at some point the king at some point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That is Donald Trump of course. And let's bring in Jomana Karadsheh, who is outside the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul.

Sam Kiley is in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

We'll start with you, Jomana.

What do we know about this investigation into Jamal's disappearance?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it has been a week since Turkey launched the criminal investigation into his disappearance. And much of what we are getting -- not really much of it on the record. Official statements coming out from the Turkish government, it is trickling out through sources familiar with the investigation, anonymous sources and also media.

Reports, as you mentioned, on Friday CNN did confirm with a source familiar with the investigation that Turkey does have audio and visual evidence of what went on in that building behind me, where they say that it was captured in that audio, the struggle, the torture and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Now there are lots of questions about how Turkey may have obtained that evidence and the pro government newspaper late last night releasing this report that we cannot verify at this point, where they say that the audio was recorded by Jamal Khashoggi, who switched on the audio recording application on his phone before entering the consulate.

Now it is really unclear if it is even technologically feasible for his phone to connect to this Apple Watch while he was inside to do that. CNN cannot confirm that. We have tried reaching out to Apple multiple times to try and see if that is even technologically possible and we still have not had luck getting information back from them on that.

So some security experts are quite skeptical about these reports, especially saying that this report came out after many were questioning how Turkey may have obtained audio recordings from inside a diplomatic mission in Turkey.

ANDERSON: Competing narratives, of course.

What is the perspective, Sam, in Riyadh?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've just recently overnight heard from Saudi Arabia's interior minister, the first person from the Saudi side in this acrimonious saga to put their name to a statement. And it is unequivocal but it --

[04:05:00]

KILEY: -- essentially says that all and any allegations that suggest that Mr. Khashoggi met with anything other than a safe exit from Saudi Arabia is nothing more than malicious gossip intended to besmirch the reputation of the kingdom.

I'm paraphrasing it but essentially that is the Saudi position, that is the position, too, of Saudi Arabia's allies. And it comes, I think, at a very difficult time regionally when, in any case Saudi Arabia and the UAE and other of their allies are in a faceoff with Turkey and Qatar over the future sort of political dynamic in the whole of the Middle East.

And indeed Saudi Arabia is leading a blockade of Qatar. And all of this, it should be seen in that sense as a suggestion really that this malicious propaganda, as the Saudis would say, is part of that setting and in no way relates to Saudi attempts on one of their citizen's lives.

ANDERSON: All right. I'll get back to that statement because I want to bring it up in full.

But to you, Jomana, we have what feels like the sort of competing narrative from Turkey run by President Erdogan, a strum in the leadership here, and that of Saudi Arabia, run by King Salman but run on a day to day basis these days, run by the crown prince.

Just talk to us and explain where that relationship lies at present. It has been fractious, to say the least.

KARADSHEH: Absolutely. And from the beginning, it was clear that while this may have been a personal case for so many involved, for the family, for the friends, for his fiancee, it was clear that this case was going to have far-reaching implications for the countries involved and for the region.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARADSHEH (voice-over): The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate appeared to be a diplomatic crisis in the making from the start, pitting two of the region's major powers against each other.

But Saudi Arabia and Turkey's relationship has been a rocky one recently, as they found themselves on the opposite sides of divisive regional issues. From President Erdogan's close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, now branded a terrorist group by Saudi Arabia, to Turkey's good relationship with Saudi's top rival, Iran, and President Erdogan's move last year, extending support and a lifeline to Qatar during the Saudi-led blockade.

At times the disagreements turned personal before the kingdom lifted the ban on women driving, President Erdogan with a direct jab at the young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and his talk of moderate Islam.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Moderate Islam, you talk about moderate Islam but you don't even give permission to women to drive a car.

What kind of moderate Islam is this?

Is there such a ruling in Islam against this?

No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that they both perceive their respective countries, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as being the rightful leader or the main leader within the region for different reasons. And those don't always match. But I think that that is very clear between the two of them.

KARADSHEH: Since Khashoggi's disappearance, President Erdogan, who never really hesitates to speak his mind, has been diplomatic for the most part. And Turkish officials are cautious in what they say publicly, indicating that perhaps they were trying to avoid a full- blown diplomatic crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that Ankara wants to turn this into a huge crisis between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, even if it does turn out that responsibility, complete and total responsibility for this lies with the highest echelons of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I think that they are trying very hard to find ways out of that.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): With Turkey's economic troubles, Erdogan may not want to risk further alienating the rich Arab Gulf states he may need someday. And for the crown prince, who's presented himself to the West as MBS, the reformer, modernizer of the desert kingdom, the negative publicity surrounding this case jeopardizes it all.

But with this disturbing mystery that has gripped the world now on a global stage, there is much more at stake than either country would have bargained for.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KARADSHEH: And you know, Becky, all indications so far is that Turkey does not want to escalate. So everyone is waiting to see how they will move forward --

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KARADSHEH: -- with this investigation, how credible, how transparent this investigation is going to be, especially after the establishment of that joint working group with Saudi Arabia.

ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh is outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. And Sam Kiley is in Riyadh for you. Both with the very latest. Thank you, guys.

Let me bring up for you exactly what that statement from Saudi Arabia is. Sam rightly pointing out that he was paraphrasing. Saudi Arabia, minister of interior, affirmed the kingdom of Saudi Arabia's condemnation and denunciation of the false accusation circulated in some media on the Saudi government and people against the background of the disappearance of the Saudi citizen, Jamal Khashoggi.

He also stressed that what is being circulated about orders to kill him are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the kingdom. Well, there is a war going on for your minds here as well as in Saudi

and elsewhere, as the government looks to shape the narrative in Turkey and control the story. Turkey no different, of course. So let's see how it is defining the world here.

What will be released of the American pastor is a big story. Have a look, it takes up most of the front page here.

Why?

The dollar falling against the lira, Turkey's money going up in value in a big way.

What does that matter?

Because so much here is important. The pastor, a key piece in what is the shaky local economy. The story of Khashoggi is there but most of the front page is on the Brunson story.

Same deal here, big on Brunson, little news coming in from what was a speech yesterday by the president on Syria.

And this one focuses on the president's nemesis, Gulen, Fethullah Gulen; just down here, a tiny stamp of news on the missing journalist.

Make no mistake, Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, a defining point globally. It's still unclear how much the White House knows about Khashoggi's disappearance. But the U.S. national security adviser says that it is not hiding anything. Here is what John Bolton told the Hugh Hewitt radio show on Thursday.

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JOHN BOLTON, TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The United States does not have information. It is not revealing. If we had information, we'd know better exactly how to handle this. We made it clear, we want to know what the facts are. We're going to continue to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: For analysis, let's me bring in Matthew Bryza, he's formerly White House staff and a key point man for the State Department to understand the Turkish file as well as anyone, also served as ambassador to Azerbaijan.

Let's just talk about the Ankara strategy here with regard the way they are dealing with the disappearance and investigation into this mystery that surrounds Jamal Khashoggi. I was taking a look at the pages of the media. In some ways, it seems the Turkish government is trying to move its narrative beyond his disappearance. But these papers have been defined by Khashoggi's disappearance over the last 10 days.

MATTHEW BRYZA, FORMER SENIOR U.S. OFFICIAL COVERING TURKEY: And what you pointed about how the Brunson case is the lead story, that reflects how important it is for the Turkish government to get U.S.- Turkey relations back on track.

So when it comes to handling the Khashoggi case, we've seen the Turkish government without any names attached to it but make some unprecedented claims about its own intelligence inside the Saudi consulate.

In my tenure as a U.S. diplomat, I've never heard a government admit that it spies inside a diplomatic mission.

So why would you do that?

Why would you say that if you are the Turkish government?

I think to get to President Trump and get relations back on track.

ANDERSON: How do you think Washington is dealing with the fallout from Jamal's disappearance?

BRYZA: I think pretty poorly. President Trump's statement the other day about how, well, this is terrible but there is $100 billion in arms sales, it denies the U.S. any moral leadership. Not that it appears that Washington or President Trump is worried about that now.

But it really undercuts the ability of the U.S. to lead in this part of the world and to resolve the multitudinous diplomatic and security problems in this region.

ANDERSON: And we've talked about the lack of a U.S. ambassador here in Turkey. There's now an ambassador in Saudi -- in fact, there are a number of positions around what is a very complicated and messy region, where there are no U.S. ambassadors.

How much of a difference does that make when there is no man or woman on the ground ensuring --

[04:15:00]

ANDERSON: -- that the narrative, that the dialogue is kept open between Ankara and Washington, for example?

BRYZA: I think it makes a huge difference. Very often my friends in the corporate world think, oh, it's a diplomat; all you do is go to cocktail parties and have these chit-chats.

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BRYZA: But I often say to them, OK, in your big company, would you leave the corporate office in a region in the world without a head?

No, you have to have a senior person on the ground who can project the confidence of the top political leadership in Washington if you are going to manage these sorts of intricate issues on a day to day basis.

Sure, once in a while President Trump will talk to President Erdogan.

What happens for the months in between? You have to have somebody in that top level post, who gets the respect and therefore the access to the top leaders.

ANDERSON: How do read what happens next?

Clearly we are still trying to work out exactly what has happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Be that as it may, we continue to, it seems, be leaked information from a Turkish government, who is not out front with President Erdogan or the interior minister. All seems to be coming through -- what happens next?

Where does this relationship go?

BRYZA: I think that we'll see -- if the U.S.-Turkey relationship continues on track and, again, Pastor Brunson's release is a huge step in that direction, I think the best way to find out what actually happened to poor Mr. Khashoggi is that the Turkish government will continue to leak information, to reinforce that it is playing as fairly as possible and trying to be a good ally.

ANDERSON: As we see the potential for an uptick in relations between Ankara and Washington, how do you read where Riyadh-Washington goes next?

BRYZA: Depends on who it is that makes the decisions in Washington. If it's President Trump I think he will try to play for time and hope that the story fades from the surface. But you listen to what Senator Graham said the other day, if this is true, there will be hell to pay.

I think in the Congress you will see people, especially in the Senate, pushing for some kind of sanction. Magnitsky Act people are talking about against the Saudi officials. And beyond government, we see all sorts of corporate leaders now starting to walk away from the relationship, whether it's Richard Branson or (INAUDIBLE) so media people not willing to (INAUDIBLE) conference in Saudi Arabia. So I think that there will be a lot of external pressure on Washington (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) better than anyone. It's a pleasure having you on, sir. (INAUDIBLE).

U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson is now in Germany after two years in Turkish custody. He will be on his way home to the U.S. soon. Here is a photo of Brunson arriving at the American air base. He is receiving a medical evaluation there. On Friday, Turkey released him from house arrest and the president celebrated at a rally in Ohio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm really proud to report that, earlier today, we secured the release of pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey.

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ANDERSON: All right. We'll leave you for the time being. Natalie has the rest of the news for you. ALLEN: Becky, thank you very much.

We have much more news ahead here. One Hurricane Michael survivor says his decision to ride out the storm is now catching up to him and he is filled with regret.

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DAN KRUPP, MEXICO BEACH RESIDENT: There was three hours of terror. It was terror. You didn't know if the hurricane was going to turn around and slam you from the other side. And you got your wife and you're afraid you made a mistake and you're going to kill her.

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ALLEN: When we come back, we'll have more reaction from Florida storm survivors, trying to process all they have lost.

Plus, a hurricane was far from the only thing facing the White House over the past few days. From Kavanaugh to Kanye, we break down the president's very busy week.

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ALLEN: We want to bring you the latest on the storm. The death toll from Hurricane Michael has increased to 17 but authorities fear that it will go up as search and rescue efforts continue.

Michael made landfall near Florida's Mexico Beach on Wednesday, wiping thousands of homes off the map as you can see. Here is new video showing just how powerful the storm was. Take a look.

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ALLEN (voice-over): That is what 140-plus miles per hour storm looks like. Michael swept across several southeast states before moving into the Atlantic Ocean as a post-tropical cyclone on Friday. The devastation left by the storm is still coming into focus. Its trail of destruction will take weeks to fully assess.

Many also remain without power. Nearly 900,000 homes and businesses still without electricity and emergency officials have little or no access to some towns.

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ALLEN: Some people can't even get out from where they rode out the storm. Brian Todd has been in Mexico Beach and he spoke with survivors struggling to process all that they have lost.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lori June (ph) comes upon what was once her house and screams in agony.

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LORI JUNE (PH), MEXICO BEACH RESIDENT: What are we going to do?

TODD (voice-over): She and her husband, Randy, lived in a two story townhome which was completely flattened when Hurricane Michael rolled through, its contents thrown across a canal.

She says she is looking for her firebox, which has her marriage license in it and other critical documents. She can't seem to find it. And the frustration and fear just seem to pour out.

L. JUNE: We're renters, so we don't have renters' insurance. We can't replace this. This is our life.

TODD (voice-over): Lori and Randy have lived in Mexico Beach for just over a year. They survived Hurricane Harvey in Houston and then moved here.

RANDY JUNE, MEXICO BEACH RESIDENT: We going to rebuild somehow. I just don't know how yet. If we don't get no help, we'll damn sure be living under a bridge somewhere.

TODD (voice-over): Mayor Al Cathey's (ph) family founded the city in 1949. Now he's trying to help residents pick up the pieces.

Can you describe what the biggest dangers are to the town right now?

Are there people in need of rescue, first and foremost?

AL CATHEY, MEXICO BEACH MAYOR: That has been handled. The FEMA boots on the ground people have walked the city yesterday.

TODD (voice-over): While Coast Guard crews rescued survivors from the air, CNN is learning that search and rescue teams are using specialized equipment and dogs to look under the rubble for anyone who may be trapped. Florida Governor Rick Scott toured the devastation, saying the state is offering all the assistance it can.

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLA.: We're getting food, water, working on shelter, working on communications.

TODD (voice-over): This large two story house got uprooted from its foundation and was swept across a street. From everything that we have seen in this town, there doesn't seem to be one place that is habitable.

Dan and Julie Krupp (ph) rode out the storm and they want to make sure their children know they are safe. Dan even wore a hat with his name on it for our interview. Like so many people here, what he went through during the storm and his decision to stay is just catching up to him emotionally.

KRUPP: There was three hours of terror. It was terror. You didn't know if the hurricane was going to turn around and slam you from the other side. And you got your wife and you're afraid you made a mistake and you're going to kill her.

TODD: I asked Governor Rick Scott if people like Dan and Julie (ph) Krupp and Lori and Randy June, who you saw in that piece, have a place to stay because a lot of these people from Mexico Beach are living on the streets.

Governor Scott said they do have shelters in nearby towns, the nearest one being in Panama City, about 20 miles away. I Asked governor Scott if it is not feasible to build a large shelter here. He said it is really not right now because conditions are really just too unstable -- Brian Todd, CNN, Mexico Beach, Florida.

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ALLEN: Just horrific conditions there. We'll continue, of course, to bring you all the latest on how people are coping and what is being done to help them.

Coming up after a short break, the latest on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and how he fell out of favor with the Saudi royal family. We'll be right back.

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ANDERSON: We're back now live from Istanbul for more coverage on the investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Some U.S. officials think that it is possible the Saudis wanted him silenced because of his harsh criticism of the Saudi government.

But they believe Riyadh misjudged the global reaction to his sudden disappearance. CNN's Nic Robertson explains how Khashoggi rose to prominence in the Saudi kingdom and then fell from favor.

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NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Jamal Khashoggi, a leading Saudi journalist and former government adviser, came from humble roots, getting his first boost studying journalism at Indiana State University, benefitting like many of his generation from a Saudi government grant for U.S. education.

Returning home, he reported for Saudi and regional newspapers. His first major break came in the late 1980s, an overseas assignment to a war zone, Afghanistan. At the time Saudi intelligence services were working with the CIA to oust the Soviets.

A source close to Khashoggi says he got to know many of the young Saudi jihadists flocking to the fight, including Osama bin Laden. He had connections and caught the attention of the then Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al Faisal.

The pair became close, despite Khashoggi's sometimes critical reporting. Following Al Qaeda's 9/11 attacks, Khashoggi dared to ask the question few other Saudis would.

Why did 15 of our young men attack America in so brutal a way?

In 2002, the Saudi authorities battled Al Qaeda on their own streets. His knowledge of the terror group led to a job advising Prince Turki, which made him useful as the country struggled to contain the chaos of an insurgent movement at home.

In 2003, when Turki became ambassador to the U.K., then D.C. two years later, Khashoggi followed him. Eventually he returned to reporting. His criticism of the kingdom's conservative clerics would cost him his job. When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his ambitious reforms, Khashoggi was a fan.

But his ruthless methods rankled Khashoggi and he crossed an invisible line.

JAMAL KHASHOGGI, JOURNALIST: I received a phone call ordering me to go silent. With no court decree, with just someone from the royal court, an official from the royal court, who was close to the leadership and ordered me to be silent. That offended me.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): He fled Saudi, leaving his family behind, writing for "The Washington Post." He praised the new crown prince but also laid on his criticism more than he dared at home.

KHASHOGGI: Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, enjoys a great support from the (INAUDIBLE) republic and he is seen as the savior by young Saudis and by me and other Saudis. So he doesn't need this environment of intimidation, of cracking down on dissent.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Days before he disappeared, he told an interviewer that he didn't think he'd ever be allowed to return to Saudi Arabia. Friends say --

[04:35:00]

ROBERTSON (voice-over): -- he knew the risks of angering the Saudi establishment.

Khashoggi went to the consulate in Istanbul to get papers that would show his divorce so he could marry his Turkish fiancee. He had been apprehensive about the visit.

In his disappearance, Jamal Khashoggi achieved the headlines he'd spent the past year trying to generate, public debate over the methods new Saudi leaders seemed willing to use in their quest to retain power.

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ANDERSON: That was Nic Robertson reporting.

As we continue to do the leg work locally on getting to the bottom of where this investigation is at and what has happened to Jamal, let's talk about the implications of Khashoggi's disappearance.

Neil Quilliam is a senior research fellow with the Mideast and North Africa Programme at the International Affairs Research Institute's Chatham House. Neil has lived in Saudi Arabia, in Jordan and in the UAE and has traveled extensively around this region, today coming to you from London.

Your experience in the region on what is, quite frankly, this messy, polarized geopolitical sort of mine field here, with that, how do you assess the consequences of what we are witnessing with this case?

NEIL QUILLIAM, CHATHAM HOUSE: I think we're at a moment where we have a game changer moment. I mean this is significant. This is really profound. This is not an issue that I think could be swept under the carpet. It is not a small bump in the road.

It is a major hazard right in the center of the road and it will be very difficult for the Saudis to navigate around that and certainly the U.S. and certainly the United Kingdom.

ANDERSON: So how do they do that?

QUILLIAM: I mean, first of all, I guess we have to wait for the outcome of the investigation. The Saudi response to date has been very problematic and very difficult. It is surprising, given that they have brought up so many different PR companies to really sort of message out.

The silence has been problematic and very difficult for the United Kingdom and for the U.S. They have really invested in this project, really invested in Mohammed bin Salman. So there is a lot at stake here. It's not as if the relationship is going to be dropped. The relationship is very strong and strategic and multidimensional but this is something that really needs to be addressed.

ANDERSON: As you describe the problematic approach by the Saudis, I do want to ensure that we are getting all sides in on this. And we have been pushing Riyadh for responses to what we have been reporting. And I want to do ensure that we get the lines in here. So I'm going to repeat what we've had very recently from the Saudis.

The minister of interior has affirmed the kingdom of Saudi Arabia's condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media on the Saudi government and people against the background of the disappearance of the Saudi citizens Jamal Khashoggi.

He also stressed that what has been circulated about orders to kill him are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the kingdom, which very much speaks to the Saudi and other Gulf positions on that, that there are other assets around this region affecting the destruction, as it were, of relations with Saudi and the U.S., the muddying of the waters so far as the reputation of Saudi Arabia.

How do you read all of this?

QUILLIAM: I mean, clearly there is a conflict, a competition of narratives coming out from Turkey, from Qatar, from Saudi Arabia and from others. And that is a very messy war. We have very little evidence to build on or base our analysis upon.

All we know really is that Jamal has disappeared. Beyond that, we can sort of try to piece together the information and guess where that is tending. And that is why I'm saying I think it is very important that Saudi Arabia really does respond to this.

This semi-silence for a week has just left this gap in which others can sort of fill and speculation can fuel what is going on. Whereas I think, while this is a horrific case and really deserves to be better understood, we also need to be sort of thinking about the longer term implications of this.

For Saudi Arabia itself, for the MBS project, where does that stand?

And implications for the region and --

[04:40:00]

-- for its partners.

ANDERSON: Sure. None of this does any favors to, as I say, what is a complicated and messy region. Neil Quilliam is a senior research fellow with the Mideast and North Africa Programme, International Affairs Research Institute, Chatham House, thank you, sir.

Natalie, for the time being, back to you.

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ANDERSON: A Turkish newspaper reporting that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi used an Apple Watch that he was wearing to record his alleged murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. CNN cannot verify that report.

And now people are asking how one of these records audio and video anyway. Our business technology correspondent Samuel Burke joining us to assess what is going on.

And as we try to unpick what is going on in this investigation, walk us through these latest lines, Samuel.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think most importantly is some context. This is a privately owned newspaper but it is pro government. The real questions here are could this be possible and did, in fact, the journalist have a watch on?

Now we've been told by friends that they understand that he did have an Apple Watch on and I've been able to go through Twitter and find a photo from May of this year, where we actually see Khashoggi with an Apple Watch on.

And if I look closely at this photo, I see that there is a little red mark on it. That indicates that this is a third generation watch, which means it does have data capabilities. That means that it can send information independently being connected to an iPhone or not.

The problem is officially Apple says that they do not have data connectivity for Apple Watches --

[04:45:00]

BURKE: -- in Turkey. And unlike iPhones, they can't roam. Now it doesn't mean it is impossible; there are always workarounds. But I think it makes it less likely that this indeed could be the scenario.

Now there is always Bluetooth. You use an Apple Watch so you know that they can connect without cellular connectivity back to an iPhone. We've also been told that the fiancee had at the very least one of his phones outside the consulate. That is a pretty big distance for something like this to work. Bluetooth really doesn't work outside of about 50 feet usually. So I think that there is a pretty high bar here that all of these things would have to work, that the wi-fi connection was still going on.

Is it possible?

Yes. But we see inaccuracies in this report from the Turkish newspaper, saying things like the Saudis were able to use the journalist's fingerprint to get into the Apple Watch.

Well, Apple watch doesn't use fingerprint technology. And we've seen in other cases when there are missing people, authorities try to use wearable devices and, in fact, sometimes do get evidence, heart rate and movements from people.

But I think it looks like a lot of things would have had to go perfectly in order for this to work. And there are people who are skeptical, thinking that maybe the Turks don't want to talk about how they really got this evidence.

Was it actually from the Apple Watch or could it be from the equipment that they would have had in the Saudi consulate?

We really don't know this for certain but it is a scenario. But I think it is unlikely.

ANDERSON: Samuel Burke is in London for you. I'm here in Istanbul in Turkey. The Saudi consulate just some 20 minutes away from where we are broadcasting, from where the investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance continues.

Natalie, back to you.

ALLEN: Thank you, Becky.

Khashoggi's disappearance is far from the only issue facing the White House. From Haley to a hurricane, from Kavanaugh to Kanye, we review President Trump's busy week -- next.

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ALLEN: Back now to Washington. It has been a wild week for U.S. president Donald Trump. On Monday, he held a ceremonial swearing in for controversial Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. This after a hard-fought contentious fight in the Senate that bitterly divided the country.

On Tuesday, Nikki Haley's resignation as U.N. ambassador caught Washington off guard. Sources say it was unexpected but Mr. Trump insists he knew she was stepping down for months. She will stay on until January.

On Wednesday, Hurricane Michael hit but that did not stop Mr. Trump from holding a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. Back in 2012, Mr. Trump criticized his predecessor, Barack Obama, for campaigning just after Hurricane Sandy.

And on Thursday of this week, the president hosted rapper Kanye West, who donned a make America great again hat and delivered a 10 minute profanity filled rant in the Oval Office.

And then Friday U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson was released by Turkish authorities. Mr. Trump says that he will meet with Brunson later on Saturday in Washington.

A plethora of things happening there for President Trump. For analysis, I'm joined from London by Natasha Lindstaedt. She's a professor of government at the University of Essex.

Thank so much for talking with us and breaking some of this down. The president enjoyed having people he admires, singing his praises, from Kavanaugh to Haley, even Kanye West, albeit a little bit profane there in the Oval Office.

But bigger picture, is President Trump considering some of these events finally on somewhat of a roll?

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Well, I think this was a quintessential week for Trump. One of his favorite things to do is engage with the media and also to give speeches and to campaign to his adoring fans. It can be fans that are at the rallies that just love hearing what he has to say. Or even celebrities like Kanye West.

And even more recently with the recent Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, he received more praise about his leadership and he loves hearing adoring praise from people.

You can say why would he go campaign at a time when there was a massive hurricane hitting Florida?

But that gets to really at the heart of what Trump really prefers to be doing with his time. He is essentially a reality star. He loves media attention. And he is pretty bored by the day to day monotonies of governing.

ALLEN: And now that Turkey has released the American pastor, Mr. Trump's base may be even more emboldened because of the success. After the Kavanaugh hearing, it seemed that Democrats were working to get out the vote. They were emboldened. But Republicans are doing the same now, aren't they?

LINDSTAEDT: After the very controversial confirmation of Kavanaugh, it seems that both sides think that this confirmation will help them. The Republicans are more emboldened, they feel that they can really speak to their base and that they really achieved something very significant, that now the demographics of the court are that it really leans more conservative and that is something that conservative voters were hoping for.

But the Democrats also, if you saw the impassioned speech from Chuck Schumer, were asking the people to get the vote out come this midterms. And the elections will be very close but it is leaning that the House will go to the Democrats and the Senate will be retained by the Republicans.

ALLEN: And meantime another issue could come into play and that is the missing journalist. That story may hurt the president if he is seen as going light on what is a very serious issue involving murder, allegedly by a country with close ties but somewhat questionable ties with the Trump and Kushner families as far as their business goes. We heard --

[04:55:00]

ALLEN: -- the Republican senator Lindsey Graham say there will be hell to pay if Saudi Arabia is behind this. But we've only heard a lukewarm response from the president.

How important is it how he plays this story?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, it is hard to say because all the intelligence seems to be pointing that the Saudis were directly involved in the murder of this journalist. And this is an incredible, terrible atrocity that has taken place.

And normally you would think a U.S. president would go after the country that was implicated in this and respond quite harshly. But he is so sensitive to this relationship with Saudi Arabia because he is worried, as he's already stated, that there is $110 billion at stake here in military weapon sales.

Even though it may be much less than that, he is concerned about his own individual business and financial interests in the country and in maintaining a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, even if it comes at the expense of what people may think.

And I think he is betting on the fact that this is a story that is very important at the moment but that another story may come up that will make people move on and past this story, just as what happened with the way he dealt with Russia in that, when Putin said that he wasn't involved in the elections, in manipulating the elections in the U.S., Trump agreed and said, I believe him. And then the story kind of moved on.

ALLEN: Right. Mr. Trump seemed to take the side of the Russians over his own country on that. We'll continue to watch it closely. We appreciate your insights. Natasha Lindstaedt, thank you so much for joining us.

And that is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen at CNN Center. We'll be right back with another hour for you. Please keep it here. Thanks for watching.