While we are still waiting for US President Donald Trump to condemn the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, here is what we are getting to hear. He thinks that the “cover-up” of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was the “worst in history.”
He added that whoever organised the plot "should be in big trouble". That is not all that he had to say about the past three weeks that have seen Saudi Arabia deny knowing anything about Jamal Khashoggi’s fate after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and then admit that he “died in a fistfight”.
Trump added, "They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly and the cover up was the worst in the history of cover-ups."
"Where it should have stopped is at the deal standpoint, when they thought about it," he continued. "Because whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble."
But, at least there are others in the Trump Administration who are saying what needs to be said. In a news conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he and the president were "not happy with the situation".
"We're making very clear that the United States does not tolerate this ruthless action to silence Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence," he said.
When asked whether the U.S. would accept Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's explanation of the incident, Mr Pompeo said: "We're going to accept what America learns."
"We have people working all across the world to put our own understanding together. We have to develop our own data set. We will learn the facts ourselves."
Pompeo added that the U.S. government was revoking the visas of those who have been implicated in Khashoggi’s murder. Pompeo also said he has been working with the U.S. Treasury to review the applicability of global Magnitsky sanctions on the individuals who are responsible for the killing of the journalist.
But this action also shows caution on the side of the Trump Administration even as the U.S. President continues to reiterate that Saudi Arabia is an important ally. The men implicated in this crime are 15 security officials, who have basically been seen as the feet on the ground and not those who are the mastermind behind this gruesome plot. Just two senior Saudi officials have been detained both who reported directly to the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.