“It is a good first step. It is a big step,” Trump said, admitting, though, that “some questions” do remain and that he will be dealing with Congress on how to proceed to address the issue.“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally but what happened in unacceptable,” Trump emphasized.
“I would prefer if there is going to be some form of sanction, or what we may determine to do if anything,” the president said. “But I would prefer that we don't use as retribution, canceling the $110 billion-worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs.”
“They have been a great ally in the Middle East. We need them as a counter-balance to Iran. So it's not the simplest solution. It's not the simplest situation to be in,” Trump reiterated, expressing hope that “it will get solved, it will get solved.”
READ MORE: ‘Hope we can keep it’: Trump touts Saudi arms deal while talking sanctions over Khashoggi death
Trump said he was going to call Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for more details and that Riyadh already promised him a “full report” into what happened to Khashoggi, a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. According to numerous reports citing Turkish officials familiar with the probe, the journalist was ambushed by Saudi agents, cruelly tortured and murdered.
READ MORE: Not buying it: Lawmakers & journalists skeptical of Saudi story about Khashoggi death
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