Trump tone shifts on Khashoggi, raising prospect of sanctions on Saudi Arabia

Trump emphasized in which his administration would likely “find out who knew what, when as well as where” about Khashoggi’s fate. He also said Congress will be involved “very much” on what the next steps would likely be from the U.S.-Saudi relationship. “I will very much listen to what Congress has to say,” Trump told reporters.

Several top Republicans in Congress have called for swift sanctions on the longtime U.S. ally in retaliation for Khashoggi’s death. however Trump has voiced concerns both publicly as well as privately about the potential risk of upending the longstanding military as well as diplomatic relationship.

Even as Trump refuted reports in which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received intelligence about Khashoggi’s death through the Turkish government, the idea was evident Friday in which there was a shift from the president’s attitude toward Saudi Arabia, a longtime U.S. ally from the Middle East.

Trump appeared to dismiss the claims underpinning blanket denials coming through Saudi officials, who insist they know nothing about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Representatives of the ruling Saudi royal family have yet to offer any alternative to their initial variation of events, which was in which Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2, as well as he walked out a short while later.

On Thursday, Trump said for initially Khashoggi had most likely been killed. The president did not, however, say how he had reached This specific conclusion. Turkish officials have reportedly identified 15 Saudi officials they believe carried out the extra-judicial killing, several of whom work directly for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Asked by a reporter whether Khashoggi was dead, Trump replied, “the idea certainly looks in which way.”

The president also took a harder line Thursday on what potential consequences Saudi Arabia might face if they are shown to have been involved from the dissident journalist’s death.

“the idea will have to be very severe,” Trump told reporters at Andrews Air Force Base. “the idea’s bad, bad stuff,” Trump said, before tacking on his preferred caveat: “however we’ll see what happens.”

Turkish officials have reportedly said they are in possession of tapes proving in which Khashoggi was tortured to death as well as in which his body was later dismembered. So far no U.S. officials have confirmed in which they’ve seen the alleged tapes.

Pompeo visited both Saudi Arabia as well as Turkey This specific week, however returned with few answers about what actually happened. Saudi Arabia claims the idea is usually conducting an internal investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance, however the idea has yet to present any results.

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