President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia’s announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a “good first step” and said he would work with Congress on a US response, The Associated Press reported.
The president spoke to the media at a defense roundtable in the US state of Arizona hours after Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi was killed in a “fistfight” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The kingdom also said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence officials had been fired.
Asked by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia’s explanation for Khashoggi’s death was credible, Trump said, “I do. I do.” But he said before he decided what to do next, he wanted to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
On October 2, The Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi had entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to validate documents, but had gone missing. Ankara had argued that he was killed there for writing articles that criticize Riyadh. Saudi Arabia, however, had denied these accusations claiming that the journalist had disappeared after leaving the consulate.