Saudi Interior Minister Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz has reportedly condemned claims circulating in media outlets about orders to kill missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the part of the authorities, saying they were lies and baseless allegations.
In an interview with CBS, President Donald Trump pledged “to get to the bottom” of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning that if Saudi authorities are behind all this, the US would inflict “severe punishment” on them.
“As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes,” Trump said, adding that the matter was especially important “because this man was a reporter.”
He also said that Washington “would be very upset” if the Saudi authorities had murdered the journalist, and that he does not want to hurt US jobs by stopping military sales to Saudi Arabia.
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“I’ll give you an example they are ordering military equipment. Everybody in the world wanted that order. Russia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it. We got it, and we got all of it, every bit of it. I’ll tell you what I don’t want to do. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that. And you know what, there are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true,” Trump pointed out
Earlier, Saudi Interior Minister Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz has condemned media claims about orders to kill Khashoggi on the part of the authorities as lies and baseless allegations.
He praised Saudi-Turkey cooperation in the case, voicing Riyadh’s commitment to finding out the truth about the disappearance of Khashoggi, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
His remarks came amid speculations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud had allegedly sought to bring Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia and detain him there. Even more, Turkish media claimed that the journalist had ostensibly been killed in the Saudi embassy.
Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia’s policies, has recently been working for The Washington Post. The journalist went missing in Turkey last week. According to his fiancee, Khashoggi was invited to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 but has never left the diplomatic mission’s building since then.