President Donald Trump said Monday morning that the king of Saudi Arabia had denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that he was sending secretary of state Mike Pompeo to meet with the Saudi leader.
“Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen,’” Trump tweeted.
“He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!” Trump wrote.
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Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened “to our Saudi Arabian citizen.” He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2018
Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and critic of the government, vanished on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, triggering a major diplomatic crisis for the kingdom.
Turkish authorities have told U.S. officials that they have recordings from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that provides evidence that the missing journalist was killed inside.
Trump told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in comments that aired Sunday night that Saudi Arabia could face "severe punishment" if it's confirmed the missing journalist was killed.
"We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment," Trump said.
Asked whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an order to kill Khashoggi, Trump said: "Nobody knows yet, but we'll probably be able to find out."
The Saudi government has denied and condemned the allegations that it killed Khashoggi.