President Donald Trump spoke at length on missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a briefing on impending Hurricane Michael.
Trump said he had spoken with a Saudi official “at a very high level” and that he is very concerned about reports that Khashoggi was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. “We have to find out who did it. People saw him go in but they didn’t see him come out as they understand it. We’re going to take a very serious look at it, it’s a terrible thing,” the president said, adding “we cannot let this happen. To reporters, to anybody. We can’t let this happen.”
Turkish officials say Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was spotted entering the Saudi consulate last week and was never observed coming out. Officials suspect that Saudi Arabia dispatched a team of 15 men to the consulate on that day and that Khashoggi may have been killed, dismembered, and removed on site.
The Saudi government maintains that Khashoggi left the premises the same day he entered, but can offer no proof to the contrary.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added in a follow up statement that National Security Advisor John Bolton and advisor Jared Kushner spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin-Salman about the Khashoggi matter. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also pressed Bin-Salman on the issue asking for transparency and information.