Steven Mnuchin to attend conference in Saudi Arabia despite concern over journalist’s disappearance
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Friday he intends on attending the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia, despite growing suspicion the foreign kingdom orchestrated the foul end of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“First let me just say that we are concerned about what is the status of Mr. Khashoggi,” Mr. Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC Friday. “I am planning on going at this point. If more information comes out and changes, we can look at that.”
Mr. Mnuchin stressed that while he has not spoken to the Saudi government, “discussions are underway” with other administration officials.
When asked why he would continue to go as others pull out of the event, Mr. Munchin said people should wait for more information to come out over the next week.
The Treasury secretary explained that a major reason for him to attend is the Terrorism Finance Targeting Center, which is based in Saudi Arabia. He said he pledged to go to the country once a year.
“They’ve been a terrific partner in combating terrorism financing with us,” he said.
The United States has pressed both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to look into the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, who last seen at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials learned the Turkish government has proof that Mr. Khashoggi was killed.