On Tuesday (Nov. 20), Donald Trump said despite the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. will stand by Saudi Arabia.
Trump sent out a statement saying that while officials may not know “all of the facts surrounding” Khashoggi’s death, “our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi Arabia royal family. Khashoggi was in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. Trump says while the administration is supporting Saudi Arabia, intelligence agencies are still investigating Khashoggi’s death. Khashoggi was murdered on October 2, 2018, in Turkey.
Last Friday, the Washington Post reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the assassination of Khashoggi. The next day Trump told reporters that a “very full report” is expected to be released on Tuesday on the U.S.’s probe into the killing. However, Trump has defended the possibility that the Crown Prince had nothing to do with Khashoggi’s death.
“It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event,” Trump said in the statement, though “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Last Thursday, Saudi prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty for five people alleged to be involved in the killing. Six others may receive lesser charges.