President Trump, Congress Preparing a Response to the Arrest of Suspects in Khashoggi’s Death
Friday, President Donald Trump called Saudi Arabia’s announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of Jamal Khashoggi a “good first step” and said he would work with Congress on a US response.
The President spoke to the media at a defense roundtable in Arizona hours after Saudi Arabia claimed that Mr. Khashoggi, last seen on 2 October was killed in a “fistfight” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Kingdom also said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence officials had been fired.
“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable,” President Trump said. Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, “It’s a big first step. It’s only a first step, but it’s a big 1st step.”
Mr. Khashoggi, a prominent dissident and former royal court insider had written columns critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Kingdom’s direction while living in exile in the US.
In a statement Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the US will closely follow international investigations into Mr. Khashoggi’s death and will advocate for justice that is “timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process.”
Also, Friday, Ms. Sanders said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to the Crown Prince and briefed the President Trump and John Bolton, President Trump’s NSA (national security adviser). President Trump dispatched Secretary Pompeo earlier in the week to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to speak to officials about the matter.