Trump vows ac­tion if scribe killed by Saudi

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said Saudi Ara­bia could be be­hind the dis­ap­pear­ance of miss­ing jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi and warned Wash­ing­ton would in­flict “se­vere pun­ish­ment” if he was mur­dered.

The Saudi critic has not been seen since he walked into the king­dom’s con­sulate in Is­tan­bul on Oc­to­ber 2, with Turk­ish of­fi­cials ac­cus­ing Riyadh of mur­der­ing him in­side the diplo­matic mis­sion. “We’re go­ing to get to the bot­tom of it and there will be se­vere pun­ish­ment,” Trump told CBS’s 60 Min­utes pro­gramme, ac­cord­ing to an ex­tract of an in­ter­view re­leased on Satur­day.

“As of this mo­ment, they deny it and they deny it ve­he­mently. Could it be them? Yes,” Trump said in the in­ter­view, con­ducted on Thurs­day, when asked if Khashoggi was mur­dered by Saudi Ara­bia.

The net­work said it will air the in­ter­view in full on Sun­day evening. Trump added the mat­ter was es­pe­cially im­por­tant “be­cause this man was a re­porter.”

When asked what op­tions Trump would con­sider, the Pres­i­dent said he was not keen to limit arms sales to the king­dom — a po­si­tion he has pre­vi­ously voiced.

“Well, it de­pends on what the sanc­tion is,” he said.

“I’ll give you an ex­am­ple — they are or­der­ing mil­i­tary equip­ment. Ev­ery­body in the world wanted that or­der. Rus­sia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it. We got it, and we got all of it, every bit of it.” He added: “I’ll tell you what I don’t want to do. Boe­ing, Lock­heed, Raytheon, I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an or­der like that. And you know what, there are other ways of pun­ish­ing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”

Mean­while, Saudi Ara­bia dis­missed ac­cu­sa­tions that Khashoggi was or­dered mur­dered by a hit squad in­side its Is­tan­bul con­sulate as “lies and base­less al­le­ga­tions”, as Riyadh and Ankara spar over the miss­ing jour­nal­ist’s fate.

—AFP

Trump at a ‘Make Amer­ica Great Again’ rally in Le­banon, Ohio.

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