US President Donald Trump criticized the way in which Saudi Arabia handled the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said authorities organized the "worst cover-up."
When a White House reporter asked him how the Khashoggi murder might have happened, Trump said on Tuesday: "They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly, and the cover-up was one of the worst in history. to cover them. "
The death of Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2 caused global outrage.
Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince of the Saudi crown Mohammed bin Salman, was a resident and columnist for the US. for the Washington Post.
Trump's comments on the incident in recent days range from threatening Saudi Arabia with "very serious" consequences and mentioning possible economic sanctions, to more conciliatory comments that highlight the country's role as an ally of the United States against Iran, as well as a important buyer of American weapons. .
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Tuesday that Washington identified some of the people responsible for Khashoggi's murder and that he is planning punishment.
"We are taking the appropriate measures," Pompeo said on Tuesday, saying that this includes possible visa revokes and the application of individual sanctions under human rights laws. He pointed out some of the jobs identified for the ministries and the royal court.
"These sanctions will not be the last word on the matter," he said.
Turkey demands answers
Riyadh initially denied knowing the fate of Khashoggi before saying that he was killed in a fight at the consulate, a reaction that was greeted with skepticism by governments and commentators around the world.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has contradicted that version, saying that Khashoggi's murder was a "political assassination" that was planned by Saudi officials days before.
The he promised to answer all the questions about the death, and did not go so far as to accuse the Saudi royalty of the "savage" murder.
In response to Erdogan's comments, Trump said the Turkish leader was "quite tough" with the Saudis and that he wants to know all the facts about Khashoggi's murder before accepting the assessment.
Trump, who sent his CIA director to Turkey to discuss the issue, said he hoped to have a report soon.
He added that he would send a response to Saudi Arabia to the United States Congress.
"In terms of what we finally do, I'll leave it a lot, along with me, I'll leave it to Congress," Trump said.
Al Jazeera and news agencies.