President Donald Trump said Thursday it appears missing Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, based on information available so far.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed Trump on the matter earlier in the day. Asked by a reporter if he believed Khashoggi is dead, Trump said: “It certainly looks that way to me.”
Trump spoke to the press pool at Andrews Air Force Base before departing for Montana.
Asked about consequences if Saudi Arabian government murdered the journalist, Trump said, “It will have to be very severe.”
The president and administration officials have been cautious about jumping to conclusions.
The United States will give Saudi Arabia and Turkey time to complete investigations that will be “transparent” and open to questions regarding the missing Saudi journalist, Pompeo said earlier Thursday.
Pompeo made a brief statement to reporters at the White House after he briefed Trump about his meetings with Saudi King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Khashoggi, 59, was last seen Oct. 2 going into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He is a legal resident of the United States.
Ina related development, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Thursday that he was backing out of a Saudi economic summit in the midst of the controversy.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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