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Wednesday February 19th, 2020 7:42AM

The Latest: Trump says Americans investigators are in Turkey

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi (all times local):

8:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the United States is being "very tough" as it tries to find out what's happened to a Saudi writer who's been missing for a week after he went into a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

There are fears that Jamal Khashoggi, who's contributed columns to The Washington Post, has been murdered.

Trump says in a television interview that "we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia."

The president tells "Fox & Friends" that Khashoggi "went in and it doesn't look like he came out" from the consulate.

Trump isn't providing any details on an investigation.

He was asked about a Post report that U.S. intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi. Trump says: "It would be a very sad thing and we will probably know in the very short future."

Trump describes U.S.-Saudi relations as "excellent." When he was asked whether the writer's disappearance could put those ties in jeopardy, Trump said: "I have to find out what happened."

___

1:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is looking into the fate of a Saudi writer missing and feared murdered. But Trump is expressing reservations over calls to withhold further U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. He says such a move "would be hurting us."

There's been a long history of close U.S.-Saudi relations, and those have intensified under Trump. But they appear in jeopardy by the suggestion of a carefully plotted murder of a Saudi government critic, Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi disappeared a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Trump, in an interview with "Fox News @ Night," links the positive U.S. economy in part to American-made defense systems that he says everyone wants. He says that stepping back from arms sales to the Saudis "a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country."

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