Trump 'not satisfied' with Saudi account of journalist's death

President Trump makes clear he is "not satisfied" with Saudi Arabia's account of death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Elad Benari,

Trump at press conference
Trump at press conference
Reuters

US President Donald Trump made clear on Saturday that he is "not satisfied" with Saudi Arabia's account of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I'm not satisfied until we find the answer," Trump said, according to the BBC.

He added that sanctions were a possibility, but that halting an arms deal would "hurt us more than it would hurt them."

The President also said it was "possible" that the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not know about the killing of Khashoggi.

His comments came after Saudi Arabia admitted for the first time on Friday that Khashoggi was killed after entering the consulate in Istanbul.

A report on Saudi Arabia's state-owned television channel said that Khashoggi was murdered at the consulate earlier this month after a brawl broke out. According to the report, the meeting "did not go as required and developed in a negative way, leading to a fight and a quarrel".

"The brawl aggravated to lead to his death and their attempt to conceal and cover what happened".

Turkish officials concluded two weeks ago that Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist who was also a contributor to The Washington Post, was murdered inside the Saudi mission in Istanbul after going missing.

Until Friday, Saudi Arabia denied the Turkish claims, saying it had no knowledge of his whereabouts and insisting he left the building alive.

Turkish investigators said last week they have audio and video evidence which shows Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents inside the consulate.

ABC News reported on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had listened to a recording of the murder and was given a transcript of it during meetings this week in Turkey scheduled in response to Khashoggi's disappearance.

Trump on Friday denied that report, calling it “fake news” on Twitter.




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