Khashoggi fiancée rejects Trump invitation to visit White House
- Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last month, prompting a Saudi investigation.
- Trump has condemned Khashoggi's death since then, after initially saying that he believed the explanation offered by the Saudis, but has not gotten the United States involved in the ongoing Saudi investigation.
- But Cengiz said Friday that she would only go to the White House if the administration takes action on Khashoggi's case.
The fiancée of the late Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi declined an invitation from President Donald Trump to visit the White House, she said Friday.
Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last month, prompting a Saudi investigation that determined that Khashoggi died in a fistfight inside the building.
Turkish officials have told CNN that Khashoggi was immediately beaten, tortured and dismembered.
Trump has condemned Khashoggi’s death since then, after initially saying that he believed the explanation offered by the Saudis, but has not gotten the United States involved in the ongoing Saudi investigation.
“The statements Trump made in the first days around his invite and the statements he made afterward opposed each other. They were simply statements to gain public sympathy,” Hatice Cengiz said during an interview with the pro-government Turkish channel Haber Turk.
Cengiz had previously appeared open to visiting Washington, saying last week that if Trump “makes a genuine contribution to the efforts to reveal what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that day, I will consider accepting his invitation.”
But Cengiz said Friday that she would only go to the White House if the administration takes action on Khashoggi’s case.
“I do not think of going to the United States,” she told Haber Turk. “Whether I will go or not will depend on the formation of conscience.”
Khashoggi’s fiancée also said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called her a couple of days after Trump’s invitation and told her that the administration did not know anything so far.
“I think the call was about showing that they were serious after Trump’s statements,” she added.
Cengiz said that she and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were calling for all involved parties to testify in order to finish the emotionally painful investigation “as soon as possible.”
“My expectation, the expectation of our President, is for everyone involved in this to give account in front of the judiciary,” she said. “It’s for the investigation to be over as soon as possible. We will go through pain in this process, but at least we can go through knowing what’s happened and without ‘what ifs.'”
Khashoggi’s fiancée also mentioned that no one from the Saudi Arabian government called her following Khashoggi’s death.
“I don’t think I could visit either,” she added. “I don’t think it is appropriate and I don’t think I can go.”
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