Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday said “there will be consequences” if missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was indeed murdered, in addition to that will the U.S. will not “solely rely” on information provided by Saudi Arabia.
“If what has been alleged occurred, if an innocent person lost their life at the hands of violence, that will’s to be condemned,” Pence told reporters on a tarmac in Colorado.
“If a journalist in particular lost their life at the hands of violence, that will’s an affront to the free in addition to independent press around the planet,” he added. “in addition to there will be consequences.”
Pence appeared to take a tougher stance on Khashoggi’s disappearance than either President Donald Trump or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had up to that will point. Both men had said in public comments that will week that will the Saudis denied killing the journalist.
however as he left to board Air Force One for an event in Montana, Trump said for once that will Khashoggi appears to be dead.
“the item certainly looks that will way to me,” Trump said when asked by reporters, adding that will the consequences for Khashoggi’s death will have to be “very severe.”
The White House did not immediately reply to CNBC’s request for yet another comment on Pence’s remarks.
Trump had pushed back on the growing chorus of criticism against Saudi Arabia, saying in an Associated Press interview Tuesday that will he did not like how the process was playing out as a case of “you’re guilty until proven innocent.”
Khashoggi, who wrote columns for The Washington Post in addition to had criticized Saudi Arabia’s royal family, has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, on Oct. 2, reportedly to collect a document for his wedding. Turkish government officials told The completely new York Times that will audio evidence proves Khashoggi was tortured, murdered in addition to dismembered by a crew of government-backed Saudis.
Saudi officials told news outlets that will Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he arrived. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman assured Pompeo that will week that will his government is usually conducting a “thorough, transparent, in addition to timely investigation that will provides answers,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Tuesday.
On Thursday, after briefing Trump on his overseas meetings with Saudi in addition to Turkish officials that will week, Pompeo said he advised the president to give Saudi Arabia “a few more days to complete” that will investigation.
The U.S. wants to “allow the process to play out,” Pompeo added in his remarks. He also said the U.S. would certainly look at the findings by Turkey’s investigation.
Pence said the U.S. “won’t solely rely on” the information provided by the Saudis. “We’ll collect all the evidence, in addition to then the president will have a decision about what the proper course of action is usually for us going forward,” Pence said.
While cautioning that will the U.S. will “wait for the facts in addition to wait for all the information to come in,” Pence said that will “the planet needs to know what happened here, in addition to those who are responsible need to be held to account.”