“Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent,” the president told AP in an interview on Tuesday evening, when asked about the widespread condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the current royals in Riyadh, disappeared two weeks ago after he entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The Washington Post columnist was not observed leaving the building, and the US media have cited anonymous Turkish sources to report that he was murdered and dismembered inside.
A team of Turkish and Saudi investigators visited the consulate on Monday, but no official results of the visit have been made public.
Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have both denied any knowledge about what might have happened to Khashoggi. Following Trump’s comments about the possibility that “rogue killers” might have been involved, several US media outlets reported that a Saudi probe was expected to paint Khashoggi’s death as a result of a botched rendition and interrogation. They once again cited anonymous sources, however.
Trump told AP his comment about “rogue killers” was informed by his “feeling” of the conversation with King Salman.