- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

President Trump said Wednesday the U.S. has asked Turkey for audio or video evidence of the possible murder of a Saudi journalist “if it exists.”

“I just want to find out what’s happening,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the White House. “We’ve asked for it. I’m not sure yet that it exists. That’s going to be the first question I ask.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is returning to Washington from a fact-finding mission to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to find out what happened to the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. The journalist, a critic of the Saudi government, disappeared two weeks ago after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

There have been numerous reports that audio recordings exist of Mr. Khashoggi being beaten and apparently murdered inside the consulate. He is a legal resident of the U.S. and a columnist for The Washington Post.

Asked if he is giving cover to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Trump replied, “Not at all.”

But the president reiterated that Saudi Arabia is helping the U.S. in its confrontations with Iran and is buying significant amounts of military hardware from the U.S.

“Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East,” he said.

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