U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday known as Saudi Arabia’s announcement that suspects are in custody within the dying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a “good first step” and stated he would work with Congress on a U.S. response.
The president spoke to the media at a defence roundtable in Arizona hours after Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Put up contributor final seen on Oct. 2, was killed in a “fistfight” on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The dominion additionally stated that 18 suspects have been in custody and that intelligence officers had been fired.
Requested by a reporter whether or not he thought Saudi Arabia’s clarification for Khashoggi’s dying was credible, Trump stated, “I do. I do.” However he stated earlier than he determined what to do subsequent, he wished to speak to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Saudi Arabia has been a terrific ally, however what occurred is unacceptable,” Trump stated. Concerning the Saudi arrests, he stated, “It’s a giant first step. It’s solely a primary step, nevertheless it’s a giant first step.”
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers together with Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed skepticism of the Saudi account, which was vastly completely different than that given by Turkish officers, who had stated an “assassination squad” despatched by the dominion had killed and dismembered Khashoggi.
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“First we have been instructed Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement,” Graham, R-S.C., tweeted Friday. “Now, a battle breaks out and he’s killed within the consulate, all with out data of Crown Prince.”
Khashoggi, a distinguished journalist and royal courtroom insider for many years in Saudi Arabia, had written columns vital of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the dominion’s route whereas residing in self-imposed exile within the U.S. He went to the Saudi consulate to acquire paperwork for his upcoming marriage.
“The Saudi ‘clarification’ for murdering journalist and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi in a consulate-a fistfight gone wrong-is insulting,” tweeted Sen. Tim Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice-presidential nominee. “Because the Trump Administration gained’t rise up towards atrocity, Congress should.”
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California stated Saudi Arabia’s declare that Khashoggi died in a brawl wasn’t credible.
“If Khashoggi was preventing contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was preventing for his life with folks despatched to seize or kill him,” stated Schiff, the rating member of the Home intelligence committee.
“The Kingdom and all concerned on this brutal homicide should be held accountable, and if the Trump Administration won’t take the lead, Congress should,” Schiff stated.
In a press release Friday evening, White Home press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated the U.S. will intently comply with worldwide investigations into Khashoggi’s dying and can advocate for justice that’s “well timed, clear and in accordance with all due course of.”
Earlier Friday, Sanders stated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to the crown prince and briefed the president and John Bolton, Trump’s nationwide safety adviser. Trump dispatched Pompeo earlier within the week to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to talk to officers in regards to the case.