US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is not satisfied with Saudi Arabia’s handling of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and said questions remain unanswered.
Saudi Arabia said early on Saturday that Khashoggi, a critic of the country’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had died in a fight inside its consulate in the Turkish city.
Riyadh provided no evidence to support its account, which marked a reversal of an initial statement that Khashoggi had left the consulate the same day he entered on October 2 to get documents for his upcoming marriage.
Asked during a trip to Nevada if he was satisfied that Saudi officials had been fired over Khashoggi’s death, Trump said: “No, I am not satisfied until we find the answer. But it was a big first step, it was a good first step. But I want to get to the answer.”
Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was killed inside the consulate by a team of Saudi agents and his body cut up.
Trump said it was possible that Prince Mohammed had been unaware of the circumstances around the death of Khashoggi, a Saudi national and US resident.
Trump said no one seems to know where the journalist’s body is, adding that no one from his administration has seen video or a transcript of what happened inside the consulate.
While Middle Eastern allies closed ranks around the kingdom, Western reaction to the Saudi narrative varied. Trump had initially said it was credible.
Germany and France on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s explanation of how Khashoggi died incomplete.