He also stated that there is much at stake with the Khashoggi case “maybe especially so” because he was a reporter.
According to Trump, he does not want to hurt US jobs by stopping military sales to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, the American leader stated that he has been in contact with senior Saudi government officials about the disappearance of the WaPo journalist in Turkey.
Trump also on Thursday commented on the incident, which seems is not Riyadh’s cup of tea. The leader of America, Saudi Arabia’s strongest ally, stated that Khashoggi “went in” the Saudi consulate in Turkey, and “it doesn’t look like he came out”.
“We want to find out what happened. He went in, and it doesn’t look like he came out. It certainly doesn’t look like he’s around,” Trump told “Fox & Friends”.
Trump has faced criticism for being too slow to respond to the disappearance of Khashoggi. A group of Republican and Democrat senators united to demand an investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist. It could lead to sanctions against Saudi Arabia within 120 days.
Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife. He has not been seen since.
Turkish sources have told media outlets they believe the Saudi writer and critic was killed inside the consulate in what they describe as “premeditated murder”. Saudi officials have countered that claim, insisting Khashoggi left the building before vanishing.
US and Turkish officials told The Washington Post there are audio and video recordings proving Khashoggi was tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Video recordings show a Saudi assassination team seizing the journalist after he walked in on October 2. He was then killed and his body dismembered, the officials stated. The audio was particularly gruesome, according to the sources.
“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” one official speaking anonymously because the intelligence is classified said, adding that “you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured, and then murdered”.
Another unnamed official confirmed men could be heard beating Khashoggi on the recording.
Before the journalist’s disappearance, US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him, a person familiar with the information said, adding that The Riyadh regime wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there, according to The Washinton Post.
It was not clear whether the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, this person stated.
The Washington Post has reported that the 15-member Saudi team had lain in wait for Khashoggi the day he entered the consulate but never came out.
A source close to the investigation told Middle East Eye that one of those 15 individuals is the head of the forensic department in Saudi General Security.
A Turkish official also told the New York Times on the condition of anonymity that a team of Saudi agents killed the 59-year-old writer within two hours of his arrival at the consulate, and then dismembered his body with a bone saw they had brought for the purpose.
“The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose,” the newspaper reported.
US intelligence revealed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman ordered an operation to detain missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi after luring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Washington Post.
US officials speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post that Salman and other Saudi officials tried to get Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia, where he is from, with offers of government employment and protection.