"Absolutely extraordinary they were able to enlist the president as their PR agent to float it", said Chris Murphy, a Democrat senator.
The Journal, like CNN, said the Saudi statement has not been finalized. "The King told me that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are working hand-in-hand, very closely, on getting to the bottom of what happened".
If that group is to be characterized as part of a rogue operation meant to bring Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia alive, questions could arise about Salah Muhammed al-Tubaiqi. "And it sounds like he and also the crown prince had no knowledge", he said, referring to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He said Pakistan has close and fraternal relationship with both Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
While organizers said Monday the conference will go on, the Saudis canceled an annual diplomatic reception in Washington set for later this week.
It comes after oil prices rose following Saudi Arabia's thinly veiled threat yesterday to cut production if the United States imposes sanctions amid growing global tension over the disappearance.
King Salman over the weekend ordered the Saudi public prosecutor to investigate the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, partly due to information received from Turkish authorities, the Saudi official said on Monday. They provided no further details.
Turkey believes Khashoggi was deliberately killed in the Saudi consulate and his body was removed on Oct 2. "The king firmly denies any knowledge of it". Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump for using the term "rogue killers".
The Foreign Office spokesman responding to a query about Pakistan's stance on the issue said "we understand that the investigation was ongoing and it would therefore be appropriate to await the outcome".
Rubio declined to rule out a halt to the arms sales, stressing that the USA must send a message to repressive governments worldwide.
Several hours before the searchers arrived, journalists spotted a cleaning crew going inside the consulate.
Khashoggi, 59, disappeared earlier this month after he entered the Saudi Consulate to obtain documents related to his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman.
The White House said it expected Saudi Arabia to carry out "a swift and transparent" investigation "this week".
"The Board of Governors has chose to decline any funding from the Saudi government and to keep the matter under active review pending the outcome of the investigation into the case of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi", the group said Monday in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
In Washington, Mr Trump suggested that "rogue killers" were behind Mr Khashoggi's disappearance. "Khashoggi", and that "there needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and, if relevant, to identify those responsible. and ensure that they are held to account".
A critic of the royal family, Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in Virginia for a year, saying he feared retribution for his views.