Trump vows ‘severe punishment’ if Saudi Arabia killed missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia could face “severe punishment” if it’s confirmed that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment,” Trump said in excerpts of an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” released on Saturday morning.

Asked whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an order to kill Khashoggi, Trump said “nobody knows yet, but we’ll probably be able to find out.”

“We would be very upset and angry if that were the case,” Trump added.

Khashoggi is a Saudi citizen and critic of the government who vanished last Tuesday after entering the consulate, triggering a major diplomatic crisis for the kingdom.

The Saudi government has denied and condemned the allegations that it killed Khashoggi.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, the minister of interior, said in a statement that the allegations that the Saudi government committed the killing of Khashoggi “are outright lies and baseless allegations.”

The statement went on to say that Saudi Arabia is “committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions.”

However, despite the denial, mounting evidence that the Saudis were involved has fueled a growing outcry from foreign governments, U.S. lawmakers and the Trump administration, all of whom have demanded more information.

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Turkish authorities have told U.S. officials that they have recordings from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that provide evidence that Khashoggi was killed inside, officials told NBC News.


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