The president of the United States, Donald Trump, seemed to back away from comments he had previously made about Saudi Arabia's explanation of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The American leader answered questions from the media about the Kingdom that finally admitted that the writer residing in the United States died in the Saudi Consulate on October 2, after 17 days of denial, they had something to do with his disappearance.
No, I'm not satisfied until we find the answer. But it was a great first step. It was a good first step. But I want to get to the answer, "he said after stopping in Nevada on Saturday for a rally before the midterm elections on November 6.
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US President Donald Trump told reporters he was "not satisfied" with Saudi Arabia's explanation of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He also seemed less anxious to defend the Kingdom when asked if he believed it was possible for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman not to know about Khashoggi's death in Istanbul, Turkey.
– Possibly. "You do not know, but it's possible," he replied.
He said he will speak to royalty "soon, perhaps today" and denied claims that Mike Pompeo had seen a video or heard an audio that allegedly reveals how Khashoggi died. "I would tell you if we had," he told reporters.
"Nobody seems to know," he said about where Khashoggi's body is. & # 39; Somebody knows. No one in the research groups, but we will discover it.
& # 39; It is a concern. We like to find out where it is and what happened. We are moving slowly towards there, "he said.
Initially, Trump said he found the explanation "credible." When asked if he believed that the Saudi explanation was credible, he replied: "I do, I do. & # 39;
Trump said he is concerned that Jamal Khashoggi's body has disappeared and said: "We like to find out where he is."
The leader warned on Saturday against scrapping a multimillion-dollar arms deal with the conservative country.
Trump told reporters that it would not be bad news for his unemployment rate if the United States canceled military equipment orders.
He added that sanctions were on the table if the punishment was necessary.
"With all that is said, however, we have $ 450 billion, $ 110 billion of which is a military order," he added. & # 39; I think it's more than a million jobs. That does not help us to cancel an order like that. That hurts us much more than them.
"For the military team that goes to China, they go to Russia … they do not have a great team like us."
He continued: "But there are other things that can be done, including sanctions."
He said about the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman: "Nobody told me he is not responsible. We have not reached that point & # 39;
Although Trump said he believed the country had not been totally honest in the past two and a half weeks, the 72-year-old was not willing to blame the crown prince after many reports that he was behind the murder of his critical Khashoggi.
& # 39; Nobody has told me that he is responsible. No one has told me that he is not responsible. We have not reached that point. I have not heard in any way, "Trump said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post.
"Obviously there has been deception, and there have been lies," he said.
His comments came after 22 senators sent a letter to Trump demanding an independent investigation into the disappearance and the alleged murder of Khashoggi.
Under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, the White House has 120 days to carry out an investigation and impose sanctions on those responsible.
Turkish officials have accused Riyadh of carrying out a state-sponsored murder and dismembering the body, and government media in Turkey report the existence of audio and video evidence to back up those claims.
Ankara promised to reveal all the details of a two-week investigation, while the EU, Germany, France, Britain, Australia, Canada and the UN also demanded greater clarity.
After the widely rejected announcement, Khashoggi died after a "fist fight" at the consulate, 18 Saudis were arrested and two top MBS aides were fired, along with three other intelligence agents.
The Saudi king ordered the establishment of a ministerial body under the presidency of his son to restructure the kingdom's intelligence agency.
Saudi state media said it would "define its powers accurately."
Saudi officials have denied that the Crown Prince had any involvement in the matter. However, it is said that he sent a squad of 15 men after Khashogg.