Khashoggi Fiancée Says She Will Not Visit Donald Trump Until U.S. Is Sincere in Efforts to Find the Truth

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of deceased Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has told a Turkish media outlet she won't accept an invitation by President Donald Trump to visit Washington until the White House truthfully makes strides in revealing the truth behind the murder.

During an impassioned interview with TV channel Haberturk on Friday, Cengiz asked that "those involved in this savagery from the highest to the lowest levels are punished and brought to justice." That was the first time Khashoggi's fiancée had made a TV appearance since the vanishing and murder of The Washington Post columnist earlier this month, according to Al Jazeera.

Cengiz said that the White House invitation was perceived "as a statement to win public favor."

Signs protest the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist allegedly murdered at Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate earlier this month, in Paris, on October 25. Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

The killing of Khashoggi has sparked international condemnation. Nevertheless, the U.S. had initially taken a soft line on condemning Riyadh for the disappearance and death of Khashoggi, who entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, on October 2 to receive paperwork for his upcoming marriage but was never seen again. Riyadh had denied the journalist's whereabouts for nearly two weeks before announcing that he was "accidentally killed" in a fistfight.

Meanwhile, Trump offered a vague response six days after the news broke out, saying, "I don't like hearing about it. Hopefully, that will sort itself out," and later added that Khashoggi was not a U.S. citizen. The president said that one reason not to act was the $110 billion arms deal he struck with the Saudis, and underscored that it was allegedly "rogue killers" who committed the crime, echoing the Saudi narrative despite sounding evidence from Turkey about the kingdom's involvement.

Amid mounting call to action, Trump began to adopt a hardening stance. The president said that Riyadh had staged the "worst cover-up ever in the history of cover-ups. Very simple. Bad deal." He has pledged "severe punishment" if the Kingdom was found to be engaged in the killing, but the president has yet to blame anyone in the upper echelons of the Saudi government.

After weeks of speculation and changing the narrative several times, Saudi Arabia has announced the journalist's killing was premeditated. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, accused of ordering the murder, said on Wednesday that the killing was "painful to all Saudis, and I believe is painful to every human in the world."

Cengiz broke down in tears more than once when she spoke about Khashoggi in the interview. She said he gave her his two cellphones prior to going inside the consulate, where she waited outside for nearly 10 hours, Reuters reported.

"I know he had questions in mind about whether something untoward could actually happen at the consulate," she told the Turkish broadcaster. She also added that Khashoggi felt nothing would happen to him in Turkey because he thought the country was safe "and if he would be held or interrogated, this issue would be swiftly solved."

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Riyadh to disclose who ordered the killing and the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body. He added that Ankara has more evidence about the murder, but that he will reveal more information "when the time is right."