The United States will make final conclusions early this week over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump said, following reports that the CIA had held Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly changed its official narrative of the October 2 murder, first denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts and later saying he was killed when an argument degenerated into a fistfight.
Earlier this week, a Saudi prosecutor exonerated the crown prince of involvement in the brutal murder.
Speaking to reporters in Malibu, California, on Saturday after surveying damage from wildfires, Trump said “we’ll be having a very full report over the next two days, probably Monday or Tuesday.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert earlier said reports indicating the United States had already made final conclusions in the case were “inaccurate.”
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr Khashoggi,” she added.
The State Department will continue to seek facts and work with other countries to hold those involved in the killing accountable, Nauert said, “while maintaining the important strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”
She noted that Washington had already taken “decisive measures” against individuals, including visa and sanctions actions.
The remarks appeared to contradict reports that the Central Intelligence Agency had determined Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi, a vocal critic.