A State Department official on Tuesday rejected reports saying that Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. has left Washington and is not expected to return amid the controversial disappearance and possible murder of a Washington Post columnist who was last seen entering the kingdom's consulate in Turkey.

The New York Times and others reported that Prince Khalid bin Salman flew to the Saudi capital of Riyadh last week, and was not expected to resume his post.

But a State Department official told the Washington Examiner those reports are inaccurate, and said the U.S. is unaware of any personnel changes at the embassy. Other reports noted that the ambassador was seen in photos greeting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he arrived in Saudi Arabia this week, suggesting that he may have returned for Pompeo's visit.

The Washington Post reported last week that the crown prince allegedly ordered that journalist Jamal Khashoggi be lured from the U.S., where he is a resident, and detained in the kingdom, his home country.

Turkish officials claim Khashoggi, who was a critic of the Saudi royal court, was killed and dismembered within the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul following an appointment on Oct. 2 to obtain paperwork for his planned wedding.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and the crown prince met with Pompeo in Riyadh Tuesday and told the country's top diplomat they had "nothing to hide."

The meeting comes as reports emerged on Monday that the Saudi government is considering blaming Khashoggi's assumed death on a botched interrogation by rogue operatives in an effort to insulate the royal family from the ongoing scandal.

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