Trump says it appears that missing journalist Khashoggi is dead | News Sponsored by

Oct 18, 18
Trump says it appears that missing journalist Khashoggi is dead | News Sponsored by

Erin Cunningham Middle East reporter covering Iran, Turkey, Syria and the wider region John Wagner National reporter leading The Post’s breaking political news team October 18 at 7:53 PM ISTANBUL — President Trump said Thursday it appears that Jamal Khashoggi is dead and warned that his administration could consider “very severe” measures against Saudi Arabia, sharply raising pressures on the kingdom as it prepares its own accounting of the journalist’s disappearance. Trump’s remarks reflect the vacillating strategies and views in the White House over its response and possible punishments toward one of its key Middle East allies. Trump has said any U.S. actions over Khashoggi’s disappearance must take into account the security and defense ties the United States has with the kingdom. But Trump also must contend with the international furor and calls within Republican ranks to take a harder line on Saudi Arabia. As he boarded a flight to Montana for a political rally, Trump was asked by a journalist whether he believed Khashoggi was dead. “It certainly looks that way to me,” he said. “It’s very sad.” He added that Saudi Arabia could face a “very severe” U.S. response depending on the results of probes that include a self-run investigation by the kingdom into the disappearance of Khashoggi. Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and Washington Post contributing columnist, was last seen in public entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. “I mean, it’s bad, bad stuff. But we’ll see what happens,” Trump said. The United States is caught squarely between two long-standing partners. Turkish officials say evidence indicated that Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents. Saudi leaders deny having any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate but promised to conduct their own inquiry into the case. [Mnuchin joins international snub of Saudi investor conference] It is uncertain, however, whether a self-run inquest or conclusions by the Saudis could quell international anger over Khashoggi’s disappearance. And any finding by Saudi Arabia could meet immediate skepticism about a country where the rulers typically are involved in every major decision. A person cl

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