The Latest: Trump says no new punishment for writer’s murder
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on U.S. response to the murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi (all times local):
President Donald Trump says the U.S. will not levy additional punitive measures at this time against Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).
Trump said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. does not condone the killing of the U.S-based Saudi columnist, but that “foolishly” canceling $110 billion in arms sales — as some in Congress have suggested — would only mean that Saudi Arabia would go to other countries to acquire them.
Trump says the king and crown prince of Saudi Arabia “vigorously deny” any knowledge of the planning and execution of the Oct. 2 murder of The Washington Post columnist at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
He says “it could well be that the crown prince had knowledge.”
Trump says “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.”
President Donald Trump is facing pressure to take tougher measures against Saudi Arabia over the slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).
The president has resisted calls so far for a stronger response to the Oct. 2 killing of the U.S.-based writer by agents of the Saudi government inside their consulate in Istanbul.
Trump says that Saudi Arabia is a “spectacular ally” and that he’s not convinced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly responsible for Khashoggi’s death.
The administration has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis accused of participating in the killing. But lawmakers in Congress want tougher measures. European allies are stepping up their punitive measures against the kingdom, too.
It’s unclear if the president will decide on a response before he leaves Tuesday for the Thanksgiving holiday.