Democrats looking to build a case against President Donald Trump ahead of next month's elections have begun using dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi's mysterious disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as ammunition.
Trump, who has long criticized the US media, on Monday said he was concerned about reports regarding the journalist and did not "like hearing about it", but that he hoped the situation "will sort itself out". While the oil-rich kingdom is spending millions of dollars to paint the crown prince as a reformist moderate, Congress is increasingly concerned over the humanitarian impact of the US-backed Saudi-led war in Yemen while Trump himself has ripped Riyadh amid rising oil prices.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who has previously called for the United States to end support for Saudi Arabia over its war in Yemen, also expressed outrage over Khashoggi's disappearance and possible murder. I don't like hearing about it.
"We expect a full-out investigation and full transparency from Saudi authorities on what happened", Mogherini said.
"I know many in Washington, and the world over share this concern for his wellbeing".
According to the comments emailed from the Saudi embassy in Washington DC "Jamal has many friends in the Kingdom", including Ambassador bin Salman.
"We agree that if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid - economically and otherwise", Graham tweeted.
Calls for clarity from the global community mounted on Monday, with Britain and France seeking explanations from Riyadh.
Turkish security sources confirmed the newspaper's report to MEE, and added that "there were intensive moves in and out of the consulate" last Tuesday.
Saudi writer Mr Khashoggi, a high-profile critic of the regime, disappeared a week ago after entering the consulate to obtain paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee.
On its part, Riyadh has told Turkey to undertake vigorous investigations to unearth the case and may even search the Consulate premises for incriminating evidence. "I know what everybody else knows - nothing", Trump said.
"That is effectively terminating consular relations between Saudi Arabia on Turkish territory", Professor Saul said.
A security source said that Turkish forces then allowed the Saudi plane to take off after they did not find any evidence that Khashoggi was onboard.
The former government adviser, who turns 60 on October 13, has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since past year to avoid possible arrest. It is suspected that the "murder" was possibly the handiwork of Saudi agents, and that the operation was conducted in order to silence Khashoggi.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg News last week that Mr Khashoggi had left the building shortly after entering it.
United Nations spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the "apparent enforced disappearance" of Khashoggi is a matter of "deep concern" to the human rights office in a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday.