Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi conference:

Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi conference:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Thursday that he will pull out of a major economic conference being hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman next week in Riyadh, amid tension over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Just met with @realDonaldTrumpand @SecPompeoand we have decided, I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia,” Mnuchin tweeted Thursday morning.

Steven Mnuchin

@stevenmnuchin1

Just met with @realDonaldTrump and @SecPompeo and we have decided, I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia.

Mnuchin announced his decision after meeting with President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who returned Wednesday from a trip to Saudi Arabia where he met with members of the royal family.

The decision for Mnuchin to skip the conference is the toughest signal the administration has taken against Saudi Arabia and comes after nearly a week of speculation over whether he would go to Riyadh.

Mnuchin had come under pressure in recent days from Republican members of the Foreign Relations Committee to skip the conference over the Khashoggi case.

Khashoggi, a U.S.-based Saudi journalist, went missing earlier in October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say he was murdered by Saudi operatives inside the consulate, though his death has not been confirmed.

BY ALEXANDER BOLTON – 

DEVELOPING

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