Donald Trump said on Saturday that the United States would determine “in the next two days” that killed the Saudi Jamal Khashogg
Speaking to reporters in Malibu, the president announced that a “full report” on “who did it” would be completed “within the next two days.”
Earlier in the day, the Trump government denied having made a definitive conclusion about the death of the Saudi journalist.
After a telephone discussion between the president, his chief diplomat and the CIA director, the State Department issued a statement saying “recent news that the US government has made a definitive conclusion is wrong.”
On Friday, the Washington Post revealed the findings of a CIA investigation . The daily’s sources say the CIA has enough information to link Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the Saudi Crown Prince, to the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
It is, to this day, the most formal association of MBS to this dark affair.
The Saudi government has so far denied any involvement of the leader, and has instead pleaded ignorance of the actions of the Saudi squad that killed, dismembered and removed Khashoggi’s body in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman, said the US government was “determined to hold responsible all those who participated in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.”
“[There are] many unanswered questions about the murder,” she added.
A complicated relationship
Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist critical of Saudi power and exiled to the United States where he worked for the Washington Post , entered the Saudi consulate last October to seek documents for his marriage. It never came out.
The event sparked widespread controversy on the international scene, stretching the links between Turkey and the Saudi kingdom a little further.
On Saturday, Democratic and Republican senators urged Trump to be tough on the crown prince, with whom he has a personal relationship.
“There is every reason to believe that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has ordered the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi . The Trump administration should make a decision on liability before MBS executes the men who apparently executed his orders, “said Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, on Twitter.
Senior government officials, however, reiterated the importance of the ties that bind the United States to Saudi Arabia, a major customer of the US defense industry.
They have been a really spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development. As chair, I have to take a lot of things into account.
Donald Trump, President of the United States
Navy General James Dunford, chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, said the kingdom played a key military role for the United States in the Middle East.
“Saudi Arabia has been an important partner of regional security in the past, I guess it will be in the future,” he said at a security forum in Halifax, adding that Middle East allies, including Saudi Arabia, “were a stabilizing force in the region”.