“No not at all, I just want to find out what’s happening,” Trump told reporters in the White House when asked if his cautious approach to the scandal amounted to a cover-up. “I’m not giving cover at all.”
Trump said he would get a “full report” from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his return from meetings with Saudi leaders and then know the truth of what occurred.
“We will probably know that by the end of the week,” Trump said.
Trump has appeared to be on the defensive since Turkish sources first accused Saudi agents of killing Khashoggi — a US resident and Washington Post contributor — inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Trump says that Saudi Arabia is valued as a historic customer for the US weapons industry. And earlier Wednesday, he told Fox Business that the US also relies on the kingdom in the fight against terrorism.
Khashoggi, a former regime insider who became critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he stepped inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to sort out marriage paperwork.
The controversy has blown a massive hole in attempts by Prince Mohammed to promote himself as a modern reformer and led to a spate of cancelations from a major Riyadh investment conference scheduled next week.