Saudi Arabia

Entering the White House as a foreign policy novice, Jared Kushner has leaned on his personal rapport with foreign government leaders to help push the Trump administration's goals.

Before joining the White House, Kushner was a real estate investor in New York City, where personal relationships can help cement deals. But that approach is now being put to the test in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Turkey more than two weeks ago.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Turkish leaders Wednesday amid the diplomatic crisis over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "made clear that the Saudis had cooperated" with Turkey's investigation.

The old Saudi Arabia was a place the United States often turned to in times of turbulence — when world oil prices were spiking or political tensions in the Gulf were spiraling out of control.

The new Saudi Arabia, under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is now a key actor — and sometimes an instigator — in some of the region's most combustible events.

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Updated at 8:37 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Saudi Arabia after being dispatched by President Trump to meet with members of the royal court amid growing international tension over the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Saudi policy, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is still missing, nearly two weeks after he entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. And questions continue to swirl about his disappearance. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was dispatched to Riyadh, while in Istanbul, a team of investigators searched the consulate.

President Trump told reporters on Monday morning that he had just spoken with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, who he said "firmly denied any knowledge" of what happened to Khashoggi.

But Trump had a theory.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis "could" be considering a departure, Saudis can expect "severe punishment" for any involvement in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and climate change is probably real, but not caused by man, President Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes.

Updated at 11:54 p.m. ET

Nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi vanished in Istanbul, the shadow of the Saudi journalist's disappearance continues to loom ever larger. Now, President Trump is threatening "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if suspicions of Khashoggi's murder are confirmed — and Saudis have vowed to retaliate in kind.

More than a week has passed since Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi vanished after visiting the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Turkish authorities are telling journalists what they think happened, citing released video footage: that Khashoggi was targeted and murdered.

President Trump said Wednesday that he has spoken to the Saudi government "at the highest levels" about the situation.

Human rights groups have repeatedly accused a Saudi-led coalition of causing disproportionate civilian deaths in the Yemen conflict because of airstrikes that have hit markets, weddings and even a bus carrying children from summer camp.

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