The Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey earlier this month. He was known to be critical of Saudi policies and Turkish authorities claim he was killed inside the building.
“Nobody knows yet” if Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi authorities, Trump told “60 Minutes” host Lesley Stahl in a preview clip released online Saturday ahead of the interview’s full broadcast on CBS Sunday night.
Trump said the incident was “being investigated” and “being looked at very very strongly” and that the U.S. “would be very upset and angry if that (Saudi involvement) was the case.”
“As of this moment, they deny it and deny it vehemently,” he added. “Could it be them? Yes.”
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Trump refused to reveal whether he would impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia if its involvement was confirmed. “There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true,” he told Stahl.
“There’s a lot at stake, and maybe especially so because this man was a reporter,” added Trump, who in the U.S. has repeatedly described CNN as “fake news” and journalists as “enemies of the people.”
“You’ll be surprised to hear me say that, but there’s something really terrible and disgusting about that if that were,” he added.“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment.”
Check out the preview clip here:
"There will be severe punishment." In his first 60 Minutes interview since taking office, President Trump tells Lesley Stahl that if Saudi Arabia is found to be responsible for journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death, there will be consequences. https://t.co/BRZfIPHbNYpic.twitter.com/s6X98AylBR
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 13, 2018
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.