As days go by and there are no clear answers about Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, it is increasingly clear that whatever happened to him took place inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and that the Saudi Arabia government had a hand in it.
In the latest developments, U.S. and Turkish officials told The Washington Post there are audio and video recordings proving Khashoggi was tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. This after Turkey has asked Saudi Arabia to provide proof of Khashoggi's movements inside the consulate.
Video recordings reportedly show a Saudi assassination team seizing the journalist after he walked in on October 2. He was then killed and his body dismembered, the officials told the Post - the newspaper that Khashoggi wrote for as a columnist.
The audio was particularly gruesome, the sources said.
"The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered," said one official speaking anonymously because the intelligence is classified.
"You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured, and then murdered." Another unnamed official confirmed men could be heard beating Khashoggi on the recording.
It was unclear how the Turkish and American officials obtained the recordings.
But these reports are increasing pressure on U.S. government officials to take a stand as the Trump Administration has openly backed King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said that he has read U.S. intelligence reports that points to the Saudi government's involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi. "I've already seen the intel. It was very unnerving. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out," Graham said.
"If it turns out that this man was killed or mistreated by the Saudi government, we expect stuff like this from [Russian President Vladmir] Putin and we come down hard on him when he does it. So, everything we did to Putin, I want to do to Saudi Arabia," Graham added.
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "Everything that we know points to the Saudi government and yet none of us want to jump to conclusions. If I had to bet today, they ordered it, they killed him and probably very high level people were aware of it."
"We have got to send a signal early on that going around killing journalists is totally inappropriate and if he [Saudi crown prince] has been involved there's got to be sanctions."