US President Donald Trump has said Saudi Arabia could be behind the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned Washington would inflict “severe punishment” if he was murdered.
The Saudi critic has not been seen since he walked into the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, with Turkish officials accusing Riyadh of murdering him inside the diplomatic mission.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment,” Trump told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program, according to an extract of an interview that was released on Saturday.
“As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes,” Trump said in the interview, which was conducted on Thursday, when asked if Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi Arabia.”
But when asked what options Trump would consider, the president said he was not keen to limit arms sales to the kingdom — a position he has previously voiced.