'Calling Saudi Arabia a crucial ally against Iran that purchases billions of dollars-worth of US weapons, Donald Trump lamented Khashoggi’s “unacceptable” death but praised Riyadh for making the first arrests in the ongoing probe.
“It is a good first step. It is a big step,” Trump said, admitting, though, that “some questions” do remain and that he will be dealing with Congress on how to proceed to address the issue.“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally but what happened in unacceptable,” Trump emphasized.
“I would prefer if there is going to be some form of sanction, or what we may determine to do if anything,” the president said. “But I would prefer that we don't use as retribution, canceling the $110 billion-worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs.”
“They have been a great ally in the Middle East. We need them as a counter-balance to Iran. So it's not the simplest solution. It's not the simplest situation to be in,” Trump reiterated, expressing hope that “it will get solved, it will get solved.”
Trump said he was going to call Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for more details and that Riyadh already promised him a “full report” into what happened to Khashoggi, a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. According to numerous reports citing Turkish officials familiar with the probe, the journalist was ambushed by Saudi agents, cruelly tortured and murdered.'
Read more: Trump says Khashoggi death ‘unacceptable’, but he ‘prefers’ to keep defense contracts with Saudis
Not buying it: Lawmakers & journalists skeptical of Saudi story about Khashoggi death
'Multiple US lawmakers, journalists and pundits voiced their disbelief in the official Saudi account of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, calling it spin and a cover-up. Some even blamed US President Donald Trump.
Khashoggi, 59, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2. For two weeks, Saudi Arabia denied Turkish accusations that a team of assassins killed him inside and dismembered his body. On Saturday, the Saudis announced Khashoggi died in a “fistfight” inside the consulate, and that 18 people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
“To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” tweeted Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).
To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement. https://t.co/am4fraUL6H
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 19, 2018
Karen Attiah, Washington Post's editor, seemed to be frustrated and pissed over the Saudi account of a member of their staff's death, calling the preliminary version of the investigation“utter bullsh*t."
“Khashoggi was a 60-year-old man. What sort of equal 'fight' would he have had against 15 other men? And who brings a bone saw to a ‘discussion?!’ The stupidity of the Saudi explanation is mind-boggling,” Attiah said on Twitter.'
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