By: Kevin Breuninger of CNBC
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that the U.S. stands with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a lengthy statement — punctuated with eight exclamation points — Trump said that “we may never know all of the facts surrounding” Khashoggi’s death, but “our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Trump said that U.S. intelligence agencies are still assessing all the information surrounding the killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi royal family, in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the CIA had concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself had ordered the assassination of Khashoggi, citing people familiar with the matter.
Trump told reporters Saturday that a “very full report” will be coming by Tuesday on the investigation by the U.S. But in his statement Tuesday, Trump appeared to cast doubt that the U.S. probe of the matter was complete.
“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!”
In remarks outside the White House before departing for the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said the CIA had “nothing definitive” on the crown prince’s involvement.