President Trump said Thursday it “certainly looks” as though Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, and he threatened “very severe” consequences if the Saudis are found to have murdered him.
As the U.S. toughened its response to Khashoggi's disappearance two weeks ago, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin pulled out of a major Saudi investment conference Thursday amid global pressure. However, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo also said the kingdom should be given more time to investigate before the U.S. lays any blame or considers action.
Trump, who has insisted that more facts must be known before drawing conclusions about Khashoggi, did not say on what he based his statement regarding the writer's disappearance. He commented as he left Joint Base Andrews for a political trip to Montana.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he told Saudi Arabia's rulers that the U.S. takes "very seriously" the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and will await the outcome of investigations by the kingdom and Turkey before deciding how the U.S. will respond.
Pompeo addressed reporters Thursday after briefing President Trump at the White House on his talks with leaders in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Pompeo says the Saudis assured him they will conduct a "complete, thorough" investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said today that the Trump administration has decided he will not be attending a key investment conference in Saudi Arabia in light of the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Mnuchin is the latest in a string of government leaders and Wall Street executives to drop out of the conference, dubbed "Davos in the Desert." Turkish investigators believe Khashoggi was killed by Saudi operatives inside a diplomatic compound in Istanbul.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast Thursday that President Trump "seems to have a love affair with autocrats," criticizing his posture toward Saudi leaders following the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
"He's already making excuses before the facts are known," Biden said of Trump during an interview with "CBS This Morning." "It hurts us internationally."
Trump has continued to press for patience with an inquiry into the suspected torture and murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and stressed denials of involvement by the Saudi king and crown prince.
President Trump on Thursday lashed out over a caravan of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States, saying that if Mexico does not stop the effort, he will use the military to "CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER."
Trump tweeted that he wanted "Mexico to stop this onslaught." He also appeared to threaten a revamped trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S.....
....In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..
....The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border. All Democrats fault for weak laws!
Senate candidate Kevin de León has campaigned as the progressive alternative to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but with the election just weeks away, his strongest support is coming from Republicans, according to a new USC-Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.