Trump Says It Looks like Jamal Khashoggi ‘is Dead’ but Gives Saudi Arabia More Time to Come up with Answers
Posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi seen stuck to a police barricade in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump gave the strongest indication about the confirmation of Jamal Khashoggi’s fate after the Saudi journalist entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2. He said says it "certainly looks" as though Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead.

Trump did not say on what he based his conclusion on, but told reporters at Andrews Air Force Base the consequences for the Saudis "will have to be very severe" if they are found to have killed him.

"It's bad, bad stuff," he said.

This statement came from the U.S. President a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got back to Washington from his visit to Riyadh.

However, the Trump administration is still pursuing the line that the Saudis need to come up with answers. Mike Pompeo says he told President Donald Trump that the U.S. should give Saudi Arabia a few more days to wrap up its investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance.

"I told President Trump this morning that we ought to give them a few more days ... so that we too have a complete understanding of the facts" before deciding on a response, Pompeo told reporters at the White House.

But there has been a slight hardening of stance over the past 24 hours if one take U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s statements into consideration.

Vice President Mike Pence said after Saudi Arabia reports the results of its investigation - and the administration looks at other available information - it will decide what to do next.

"The world needs to know what happened here, and those who are responsible need to be held to account," Pence said.

"We'll collect all the evidence and then the president will have a decision about what the proper course of action is for us going forward. The world deserves answers. If what has been alleged occurred - if an innocent person lost their life at the hands of violence - that's to be condemned.

"If a journalist, in particular, lost their life at the hands of violence, that's an affront to a free and independent press around the world, and there will be consequences."

These statements from the Trump Administration come on the same day that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced his withdrawal from Saudi Arabia’s international investment summit over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.