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Mnuchin Still Plans To Attend Saudi Conference Boycotted By Major Companies

Despite evidence that a journalist was killed in one of Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic facilities, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that he still plans to attend an investment conference in the country this month, the Washington Post reported.

Turkish officials said they believe that Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and critic of Saudi Arabia, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to the Post. Several businesses and media companies have since backed out of the event in Riyadh on Oct. 23.

Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC that the Trump administration is concerned about Khashoggi’s status; however, he still intends to attend the conference.

“Although I haven’t had direct conversation with the Saudis, I know other people within the executive branch have, and those discussions are underway,” he said. “I am planning on going at this point. If more information comes out and changes, we could look at that, but I am planning on going.”

CNN announced Friday that it wouldn’t participate, the company reported, along with the New York Times and others. Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is one of the business leaders who decided to withdrawal.

“My comment is we all want information,” Mnuchin said, “so let’s wait and see what information comes out in the next week.”

He also said Saudi Arabia has been “a very good partner” to the United States, including in “combating terrorist financing.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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