Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Donald Trump says Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi likely dead, vows 'severe' consequences

Donald Trump says Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi likely dead, vows 'severe' consequences

Earlier on Thursday, Pompeo said he told Trump that the U.S. should give the Saudis "a few more days" to complete their investigation into Khashoggi's case "so we can get a complete understanding" of the facts. "But we're waiting for the results of about three different investigations, and we should be able to get to the bottom fairly soon", Trump said.

Trump said that the punishment would be "severe" if he finds out that Saudi Arabia harmed the journalist. I mean, it's bad, bad stuff.

Trump claimed he had "no financial interests in Saudi Arabia" after facing criticism for his response to Khashoggi's case.

Aamer Anwar, the rector and a human rights lawyer, paid tribute to the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and hit out at the Saudi regime and those who offer support to it.

The Crown Prince told Pompeo that the United States and Saudi Arabia "are strong and old allies".

The president's remarks came shortly after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would wait for the Saudis to complete an investigation into what happened to Khashoggi before deciding how to respond.

A report on Wednesday by the pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak, citing what it described as an audio recording of Khashoggi's slaying, said a Saudi team accosted the 60-year-old journalist after he entered the consulate, cutting off his fingers and later decapitating him.

He told reporters before boarding Air Force One to attend a campaign rally: "It certainly looks that way to me".

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Trump also said on Tuesday that the criticism against the Saudi Kingdom amid the Khashoggi investigation was another instance of "guilty until proven innocent".

Mr Trump's comments, however, signalled an urgency in completing the probe into the disappearance of the journalist, last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Suggesting a shift in USA opinion, however, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin caved to pressure and said he would join a slew of CEOs and foreign officials in dropping out of a Saudi investment conference slated to begin on October 23 in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has denied the claims, and initially insisted Mr Khashoggi had freely left the embassy.

"Secretary Pompeo has neither heard a tape nor has he seen a transcript related to Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

"Behind the scenes, we're told by sources, he told them they needed to hurry". Increasingly upset US lawmakers are condemning the Saudis and questioning the seriousness with which Trump and his top aides are taking the matter, while Trump has emphasized the billions of dollars in weapons the Saudis purchase from the United States.

United States lawmakers from both parties have expressed outrage over Khashoggi's disappearance and reports of his murder and have been calling for consequences, including possible sanctions against Saudi Arabia.

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