Trump Says it Looks Like Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi is Dead
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump told the media on his residence that “it certainly looks like” journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead. He also mentioned that the US response to Saudi Arabia’s likely committed deed would be “very severe”. However, he stated that he cannot do anything until proper investigation and a verdict surfaces.
Meanwhile, in Istanbul, Turkish investigators took the investigation a second run and searched the Saudi consulate where Khashoggi — a US resident and Washington Post columnist who made strong critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — went missing on October 2. The investigators are still seeking clues related to the incident, and so far, has caused an international outcry.
Since October 2, this is the first time Trump has acknowledged that Khashoggi had likely been killed.
Before boarding the Air Force One for a political trip, Trump told reporters who were outside of his residence, “It certainly looks that way to me. It’s very sad.”
Trump spoke hours after getting an update from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the results of Pompeo’s emergency talks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Trump also said that he is confidence in intelligence reports that a high-level Saudi role is suspected in killing of Khashoggi. However, he mentioned that it was “still a little bit early” to draw conclusions and wait for the proper investigation to finish.
Pompeo has reportedly advised Trump that Saudi Arabia should be given a few days to conclude their investigation regarding the Khashoggi disappearance. And according to the Turkish officials, the Saudi journalist was murdered at the consulate and his body chopped up and removed.
However, Saudi Arabia has refused any claims of being involved in the disappearance of the journalist.
“I think it’s important for us all to remember, too — we have a long, since 1932, a long strategic relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Pompeo.
He also mentioned that Saudi Arabia is “an important counter terrorism partner,” which is why proper investigation needs to be concluded.
Apart from that, a US government source said said that US intelligence agencies are becoming increasingly convinced of the crown prince’s involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi.