CNBC withdraws from Saudi conference over concerns about journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

  • CNBC is withdrawing from a conference scheduled for this month in Saudi Arabia, as global outrage grows over the disappearance and suspected killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • "CNBC will no longer participate in the FII in Riyadh due to the continuing questions surrounding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the network says.
  • CNBC's decision comes as other luminaries and media outlets pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative, also known as "Davos in the Desert," which is scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday.

CNBC is withdrawing from a conference scheduled for this month in Saudi Arabia, as global outrage grows over the disappearance and suspected slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"CNBC will no longer participate in the FII in Riyadh due to the continuing questions surrounding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the network said on Twitter.

CNBC's decision comes as other luminaries and media outlets pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative, also known as "Davos in the Desert," which is scheduled for Oct. 23 to 25. Earlier Friday, the Financial Times pulled out of the conference. CNN and The New York Times had also withdrawn, as has Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin announced on Twitter that he would withdraw from the conference, citing concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi "and reports of his murder."

Bloomberg News also said Friday that it was withdrawing from the conference, although it plans to cover news that might come out of it.

"Bloomberg will no longer serve as a media partner for the Future Investment Initiative. As we do with every major event in the region, we plan to cover any news from our regional news bureau," a Bloomberg News representative said.

Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family, was last seen Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia has denied wrongdoing. Turkey has reportedly informed the U.S. that it has video and audio evidence showing Khashoggi, who wrote for The Washington Post, was killed inside the consulate.

Khashoggi had been living in the United States as a voluntary exile from Saudi Arabia.

Several senators, led by Republicans Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham, have triggered a Trump administration investigation into Khashoggi's whereabouts. The White House has said senior administration officials, including President Donald Trump's son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have been in contact with the crown prince regarding the journalist's disappearance.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, meanwhile, still plans to attend FII next week.

"We are concerned about what is the status of Mr Khashoggi," Mnuchin told CNBC on Friday morning. "If more information comes out and changes, we could look at that, but I am planning on going."