US President Donald Trump said Sunday he was eager to maintain the alliance with Saudi Arabia after being informed of the content of the recording of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The recording, which was provided by Turkey, is “a suffering tape, (…) a terrible tape,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. However, Trump said he declined to listen to it.
Trump said that a full US report on the Khashoggi case would be released within two days.
Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. The Wahhabi Kingdom then declared that he died during a “brawl” at the consulate.
After the publication of the results of the preliminary investigations, Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General announced that 21 people linked to this assassination had been arrested. Of these, 11 have been charged and the prosecution has indicated that it will seek the death penalty for 5 of them.
The US Congress called for a full investigation into the case and threatened to impose further sanctions against Saudi Arabia if those involved were not held responsible for the killing, including the suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. However, Trump appeared not to be eager to maintain alliance with Saudi Arabia.
“You saw we put on very heavy sanctions, massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “But at the same time, we do have an ally, and I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good.”