Trump on Saudi Explanation of Khashoggi Killing: ‘I’m Not Satisfied Until We Find the Answer’


President Donald Trump spoke out about Jamal Khashoggi in a pool spray with reporters after his rally in Nevada on Saturday, and said he won’t be satisfied until he has answers on the killing.

Trump was asked by a reporter if he was “satisfied” by the firing of some Saudi officials in connection with the murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and dissident. The Saudi Arabian government claimed on Friday night that Khashoggi was killed in a fight at the consulate in Istanbul.

“No, I’m not satisfied until we find the answer,” Trump said. “But it was a big first step. It was a good first step. But I want to get to the answer.”

Trump continued by noting “we have $450 billion” of equipment “ordered from Saudi Arabia,” which he claimed is creating one million jobs (he previously said these deals would create 40,000 jobs).

“That’s not helpful for us to cancel an order like that,” the president said. “But there are other things that can be done including sanctions.”

Trump’s response to the Saudis’ explanation of what happened in the consulate has been met with criticism. On Friday night, while he called what happened “unacceptable,” he said he found their story credible.

Washington Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah, who brought Khashoggi on at the paper, lambasted the president’s response: “This first reaction that this is credible is doing part of the PR work for the Saudi royal family and it’s unacceptable and it sends a chilling message to all journalists, all people who dare to criticize regimes that are authoritarian, that they can be persecuted, and the leader of the free world, the United States, will turn a blind eye.”

“There’s time for them to correct this,” she added, “but at this point, they’re doing the PR work for the Saudi regime and it’s unacceptable.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin